WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polarised light micrograph of crystals of AZT (azidothymidine), an antiviral drug being used in the U.S. to treat patients with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The AIDS virus, or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), attacks the immune system & makes victims prone to fatal secondary infections. HIV utilises an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, to translate its own RNA genetic material into DNA, which subverts the genetic material of T-lymphocytes of the immune system. This leads to the replication of the virus & the death of the lymphocytes. AZT is believed to block the action of reverse transcriptase. Magnification: x25 at 35mm size.
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