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).