HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV invading white blood cell. Computer artwork showing HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) particles (virions, purple) invading a T-lymphocyte white blood cell (large, clear) in the human bloodstream. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The virions release their RNA (ribonucleic acid, yellow) genetic material into the cell and hijack it's genetic machinery (lower centre) to replicate themselves. The new clones then burst from the cell, killing it and weakening the immune system, causing AIDS.
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