CROWN COPYRIGHT / HEALTH & SAFETY LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CROWN COPYRIGHT / HEALTH & SAFETY LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS virus particle, illustration. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The outer layer (red) is the membrane envelope taken from the membrane of the host cell that made this virus particle. Membrane proteins (blue) are seen protruding from this surface. The inner layer is an icosahedral matrix protein shell that encloses the genetic core (not seen). AIDS impairs the immune system and allows often fatal secondary infections.
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