Having prompted an in depth well being scare and over 1,000 deaths to date, the COVID-19 virus (additionally unofficially generally known as 2019-nCoV) has acquired extensive media protection since its discovery in December final yr.
However though microbiologists all over the world have been utilizing the virus to try to develop a vaccine, many people non-scientists have not really seen what this new coronavirus seems to be like.
The Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments’ (NIAID) Rocky Mountains Laboratories (RML) have simply launched scanning and transmission electron microscope pictures of the coronavirus, they usually’re… surprisingly aesthetically pleasing.
What you are seeing above is a scanning electron microscope picture in false color, displaying the COVID-19 virus from a affected person within the US; the viral particles are colored yellow because it emerges from the floor of a cell, which is colored blue and pink.
The picture above was captured with a transmission electron microscope. This is not fairly as sharp as the primary one, however you possibly can see the spikes on the floor of the virus (which provides the coronavirus its identify, that means ‘crown’).
If these look a bit of acquainted, it is as a result of most coronaviruses – resembling SARS and MERS – look comparable on the surface, sharing the bump-covered spherical look.
Viruses within the coronavirus household solely have small variations of their genome, with solely 5 nucleotide variations between three of the viruses. Nonetheless, the viruses can have notably completely different displays in terms of infecting people.
The photographs you see right here had been the results of collaborative teamwork. RML investigator Emmie de Wit supplied the virus, microscopist Elizabeth Fischer produced the pictures, with the visible medical arts workplace colourising the pictures.
You’ll be able to see the whole set on Flickr right here.