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53.6 MB (1.7 MB compressed)
5000 x 3750 pixels
42.4 x 31.8 cm ⏐ 16.7 x 12.5 in (300dpi)
MAURIZIO DE ANGELIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURIZIO DE ANGELIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacteriophage T4 viruses. 3D computer illustration of multiple T4 bacteriophage viruses. A bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that infects bacteria. Enterobacteria T4 infects E. coli bacteria. It consists of an icosahedral (20-sided) head, which contains the genetic material, a tail (cylindrical) and tail fibres (leg-like). The tail fibres attach to the surface of the bacterium and the tail injects a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand into the cell. The viral genetic material then hijacks the bacterium's own cellular machinery, forcing it to produce more copies of the bacteriophage. When a sufficient number have been produced, the phages burst out of the cell, killing it in the process.
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