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Bacteriophages replicating in a bacterium

Bacteriophages replicating in a bacterium

C002/3775

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Credit

MEDI-MATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEDI-MATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bacteriophages replicating in a bacterium, cutaway artwork. Image 2 of 3. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. In a previous stage, the bacteriophages injected their genetic material (red double helix) into the bacterium. This bacteriophage genetic material has been incorporated into the bacterium's loop of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, blue). Material (red) is being drawn into the bacterium, and the bacteriophage genetic instructions are being used by the bacterium to build new bacteriophages (upper right). In the final stage, the new bacteriophages burst out of the bacterium, killing it. For a sequence showing this, see images C002/3774 to C002/3776.

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