SGU Science Picture of the Week: The HIV Pacman
No, this is not Pacman with a weird skin condition and a cleft-lip.
What you’re looking at is a 3D representation of multiple Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (orange) attacking an immune cell (grey). It was created by Ivan Konstantinov and his team after poring through over a hundred of the latest scientific journals to make sure they were as accurate as possible. This pulled together the latest research in fields like virology, X-ray analysis, and NMR spectroscopy. NMR stands for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. This technique uses the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei to reveal the chemical and physical properties of the object being studied.
The open section in the middle of the immune cell is there to show how the virus usurps the machinery of the cell to crank out copy after copy of itself which then burst free to do the same to more immune cells.
Image Credit: Konstantinov/Stefanov/Kovalevsky/Voronin, Visual Science Company