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 (designated HIV) renders its victims' immune systems useless & prone to numerous opportunistic infections, which include cancer & a rare form of pneumonia. HIV attacks T- lymphocytes of the immune system, utilisng an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, to translate its own genetic material RNA into DNA, which subverts the lymphocytes genetic material & brings about viral replication & ultimate cell death. AZT is believed to block the action of reverse transcriptase. Mag. X 25 (35mm).
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