Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
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All the big words

  • Bacteriophage A virus that infects bacteria. Literally means bacteria-eater.
  • Capsid The protein shell surrounding the viral genome. Can be helical or polyhedral.
  • Centrifugation a centrifuge spins the sample to separate parts with different density.
  • Electron microscopy microscopy that uses a beam of electrons to see things that are smaller than the wavelength of light
  • Envelope the lipid membrane surrounding the viral capsid and genome
  • Enveloped virus a virus that has a lipid membrane around its genome and capsid
  • Filamentous long and thin, like spaghetti.
  • Genome the genetic information of an organism or virus. Made of DNA or RNA and used to encode the proteins the virus needs to multiply.
  • Grid sample support for the electron microscope
  • Head the polyhedral capsid of a head-tail virus
  • Helical spiral-shaped symmetry
  • Host the animal, plant or bacteria that the virus needs to multiply
  • Icosahedral twenty-fold symmetry in 3 dimensions.
  • Pellet the solids at the bottom of the tube after centrifugation
  • Phage see bacteriophage
  • Pleiomorphic the virus particles have different shapes. Usually enveloped viruses
  • Polyhedral literally multi-cornered. In viruses, forming a regularly shaped capsid.
  • Protein the molecules that do most of the work in biology
  • Supernatant the liquid at the top of the tube after centrifugation
  • T-number way of showing the size of an icosahedral capsid
  • Tail the long helical part of a head-tail virus
  • Vector organism that transmits viruses. Often insects.
  • Wavelength of light the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we use to see.