Each SARS-CoV-2 virus particle – the virus – is a spherical protein sphere, surrounded by genetic material, approximately 50–200 kilometers wide. Somehow, even a shiny false micrographic that infects human lung cells can make them look almost … ornamental.
New images of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been published by biochemist Camille Ehre from the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. New England Journal of Medicine; They tell us how well these microbes can infect our airways.
The team introduced SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory culture of human bronchial epithelial cells – cells that provide a barrier between the lungs and the air in our bloodstream. He left both for 96 hours, and then used a scanning electron microscope to record the results.
“Virus production was about 3 × 106 The team writes, plaque-making units per culture, a number that corresponds to the high number that is constantly produced and released, ”the team writes.
The top and bottom images show Cameron Morrison, a UNC medical student, and a hair-like structure called cilia in blue, varieties of mucus in yellow and SARS-CoV-2 in red.
The topmost image in this article shows structures with small red virus particles in a broader context, while the bottom image, more clearly, reveals the structure and density of small particles.
You may be aware of cilia that reside in your gorge, but they are also present inside the lungs, which help protect our breathing organs from pathogens, keep the lungs moist, and clean themselves. Huh.
You can see an example of where they are found in the image below:
Although the new micrographs look really striking, they are more than just a novelty.
When viruses hijack our cells, large numbers of images show. In humans, the resulting virulence is likely when they cough, talk, or even breathe in the air, giving us a great reminder to people to wear masks, and to limit the spread But keep your distance from others.
And perhaps, looking at those small virus particles, we would be able to see the bigger picture better.