JOSE ANTONIO PENAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOSE ANTONIO PENAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Influenza virus life cycle, illustration. The flu virus (Orthomyxovirus) carries RNA (ribonucleic acid) wrapped in proteins and a membrane. A virus particle passes through a cell membrane (upper left) to be broken down. Viral RNA travels to the nucleus (centre). The cell reads the RNA instructions and the cell's protein factories (ribosomes, lower centre) make new viral materials. The cell's endoplasmic reticulum is a major site of protein manufacture. A new viral RNA core is enveloped by matrix proteins, cell membrane and surface protein. New virus particles break off (upper right).
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