Festive Flu Virus Structure

The H1N1 flu virus as a decorative holiday ornament of blue, white, green, and red, nestled in a grey backdrop with white snowflakes. Refer to text for description.
Credit: Rommie Amaro, Jacob Durrant, Adam Gardner, and colleagues.

Ah, December—a month suffused with light-filled holidays, presents, parties . . . and the spread of colds and flu. This playful image uses a festive approach to the serious science of understanding and finding ways to combat the flu virus.

The structure shows the H1N1 influenza (flu) virus, so named for the hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) molecules shown in ice blue on the surface of the virus. Also appearing in atomic-level detail is the virus’ outer envelope (white), matrix proteins (bright green), and genetic material (ribonucleoproteins in red, pink, and dark green).

One comment on “Festive Flu Virus Structure

  1. I have a host of autoaunm issues. I’ve done very well in the past, getting my flu shot. There have been yrs where I was unable to get it. Fortunately I didn’t get out much & when I did, I exercised great precautions.
    In the past having the flu felt as if I was dying an extremely painful death. In fact death looked very inviting, as compared to the suffering.

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