LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Reverse transcriptase enzyme from HIV, molecular model. This enzyme is from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. The enzyme is involved in the replication of the virus's RNA genetic material when it is in the host cell. HIV primarily infects the helper T cells, a type of white blood cell, which die as a result. The immune system begins to fail, and the body becomes more susceptible to secondary infections. In this model, solid colours represent the secondary structure of the protein (coils are alpha helices; arrows are beta sheets) and the faded tubular structure behind represents the individual atoms and bonds.
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