SPRINGER MEDIZIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPRINGER MEDIZIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bird flu virus particle. Computer artwork showing the internal and external structures of an influenza (flu) A subtype H5N1 (bird flu) virus particle (virion). The virus consists of a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid, spheres, centre) genetic material surrounded by a protein coat (white/transparent). Embedded in the coat are the surface proteins haemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Haemagglutinin binds to host cells, allowing the virus to enter them and replicate. Neuraminidase allows the new particles to exit the host after replication.
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