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Colour enhanced thin section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealing the presence of a number of human coronavirus, HCoV-229E virions (blue). This organism is a member of the family, Coronaviridae, and the genus Coronavirus. The coronavirus helical genome is composed of positive-sense single-stranded RNA ((+) ssRNA). This is an enveloped virus, which means that its outermost covering is derived from the host cell membrane. The coronavirus derives its name from the fact that under electron microscopic examination, each virion is surrounded by a corona or halo. This is due to the presence of viral spike peplomers emanating from its proteinaceous capsid. One of the most infamous of the coronaviruses is the SARS-CoV, the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
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