UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Since its discovery in December 2019, the Wuhan coronavirus, which some time ago received the official name COVID-19 (previously called 2019-nCoV ), has caused thousands of deaths.
People around the world today have a genuine fear of him, not least because of the hype in the media. Although, if you think about it, the greatest danger threatens only individuals.
Although microbiologists have been working with COVID-19 samples in laboratories in different countries for a couple of months , and have also begun to develop a vaccine for it, so far few have seen what this insidious virus looks like. By the way, in this regard, the saying is true: “the devil is not so terrible as he is painted.”
Recently, photographs of the new coronavirus were posted on the Internet by specialists from Rocky Mountain Labs ( RML ) at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Pictures were taken using scanning and transmission electron microscopes.
The photo above shows the COVID-19 virus isolated from the blood of a patient from the United States ( image in artificial colors ). Viral particles (virions) are colored yellow, and the surface of the cell from which the virus emerges is blue and dark pink.
The image above was obtained using a transmission electron microscope. The photo is not as sharp as the first, but still it makes it possible to see the “spikes” on the surface of the virus. Because of this, the virus resembles a corona in shape, which is why the pathogen got its name.
For medical professionals, these pictures will surely seem familiar. The fact is that most coronaviruses, including the already known SARS and MERS, look almost the same. The viruses of this family have only small differences in their genome, and only five nucleotide differences between the three of them.
However, the symptoms that signal infection by them can vary significantly from person to person.
These images were obtained thanks to well-coordinated teamwork: the virus itself has provided RML researcher Amy de Wit ( Emmie de Wit ), photos made microscopist Elizabeth Fisher ( Elizabeth Fischer ), and RML imaging department (visual medical arts office) painted the picture.
More photos of the Wuhan coronavirus – click here.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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