MadSci Network: Virology

Re: what are the main parts of a virus

Date: Mon Nov 30 19:28:57 1998
Posted By: Jason Gall, Post-doc/Fellow, Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Area of science: Virology
ID: 910227305.Vi

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 virusí 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 HIV

Diagram of adenovirus

Other images of viruses.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Virology | Virology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Virology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1998. All rights reserved.