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Variola virus particle: graphic of Smallpox structure

Above: Simplified Diagram of the smallpox virus (Variola) structure: section through virion. Image measures 500 pixels across, original image is 4,000 pixels across.

EXPLANATION OF PICTURE: The smallpox virus consists of genetic material (one molecule of double stranded DNA) contained in a core (red). In this illustration, the virus is tilted, showing the rounded biconcave brick shape of the core, in whose depressions nestle the "lateral bodies" (purple). The function of the lateral bodies is unknown. The virus includes several layers of host cell membrane (green & blue) added at various points in its life cycle. The poxviruses are the most complicated type of animal virus.

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