An Overview of Viruses for Light Microscopists
A 3D modelling article
by Mol Smith 2010
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  Scale  Herpes Virus  T4 Virus  Influenza Virus   Resources and external links
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3D Model of Influenza Virus
Influenza virus A is a genus of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses. The 'A' type virus consists of only a single species which causes influenza in people, some mammals, and birds. The internal genetic material is RNA, whereas many viruses contain DNA.

The cut-away view below, shows the internal structure and other processes in the virus. Note that is is ovoid in shape and 80 to 120 nanometers in diameter (nm).

Two different varieties of glycoprotein spike are embedded in the envelope. About 80 percent of the spikes are hemagglutinin, which are thought to be involved with the attachment of the virus to a host cell. The other 20 percent or so of the glycoprotein spikes are neuraminidase, which is thought to be part of the mechanism responsible for releasing new virus particles from the host cell. Inside the envelope or capsid is the influenza genome itself, consisting of eight pieces of single-stranded RNA in class A and Class B viruses only.

The animated model below may help provide a better visualization of the Influenza Virus...





You can see a TEM (Transmission Electron Micrograph) image of the Influenza-A virus below. Content Providers(s): CDC/ Dr. Erskine Palmer

Permission
{c} PD-USGov-HHS-CDC (This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.)


I hope this article has provided a brief insight into the twilight world of Viruses. For a list of resources used in this article and for copyright and licensing information, please see here.

3D Models
A list of 3D models that we are currently aware of as appropriate for biological, microscopical, and medical use is maintained in the 3D model section of our
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Mol Smith are welcomed.

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Published in Feb 2010 Micscape Magazine.
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