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Model of an adenovirus, London, England, 1985

Since being discovered in 1953, one hundred types of adenoviruses have been found, 47 of which affect humans. A body must fight off an adenovirus itself as antibiotics are ineffective. Adenoviruses are only visible under an electron microscope and this model represents an adenovirus enlarged three million times. All adenoviruses are this shape – icosahedral, or twenty-sided. The model was made at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London.

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Glossary: model - representation

Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.

Glossary: adenovirus

A virus that contains DNA. It causes respiratory infections that have similar symptoms to the common cold.