|MadSci Network: Virology|
Most viruses consist of four parts, the core, the capsid, the matrix, and the envelope. The core is located in the center of the virus and contains the virus’ DNA or RNA wrapped together with some proteins. The capsid is made of protein and forms a shell around the core. The matrix forms a layer between the capsid and the envelope, while the envelope consists of lipids stolen from the cell membrane of the host cell that the virus is growing in. The envelope also contains proteins (mostly virus proteins). Viruses exist in just about every variation possible on this theme. Some viruses do not have a capsid for example, while others do not have an envelope. See the figures for examples. To see the original diagrams of these viruses (and other pictures of viruses) use the links below.
Diagram of adenovirus
Other images of viruses.
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