THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cell infected with HIV. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) particles (round) budding from the membrane of a host cell. HIV attacks CD4+ T-lymphocytes (specialised white blood cells), which are crucial in the body's immune system. It enters the cell and makes many copies of itself, which then destroy the cell as they emerge through its membrane. This severely weakens the immune system, causing AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Magnification: x80,000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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