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Bacteriophage virions (blue) attacking rod-shaped bacteria, computer artwork. A bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that infects bacteria. It consists of a head, containing the genetic material, a tail (central section) and tail fibres, which fix it to a specific receptor site. The tail injects its genetic material into the bacterium, and this hijacks the bacterium's own cellular machinery, forcing it to produce more copies of the virus.
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