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15.5 MB (2.7 MB compressed)
2718 x 1997 pixels
23.1 x 17.0 cm ⏐ 9.1 x 6.7 in (300dpi)
EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Smallpox viruses. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Variola major viruses, the cause of smallpox. The virus consists of genetic material (red), DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), enclosed by a protein capsid (coat, yellow). Variola is the most virulent member of the orthopoxvirus group. Variola major is specific to humans, having no other animal hosts. Infection causes a high temperature and skin spots that develop into scarring pustules. It is transmitted by respiratory droplets or by the pus. Smallpox was eradicated in the 1970's by a global vaccination programme. However, isolated cultures of the virus are still kept in laboratories for research purposes. Magnification: x40,700 when printed 10 cm wide.
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