DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
T4 bacteriophage. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of T4 bacteriophage viruses. The swollen structures are their heads, which contain DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) inside a protein coat. Attached to these are their tails, consisting of a tube-like sheath and fine tail fibres. T4 bacteriophages are parasites of Escherichia coli, a bacteria common in the human gut. The virus attaches itself to the host bacteria cell wall by its tail fibres; the sheath then contracts, injecting the DNA into the host. The viral DNA makes the bacteria manufacture more copies of the virus. Negatively stained. Magnification unknown.
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