Winner of Honorable Mention in Science's Visualization Challenge, 2010.
A bacteriophage is a virus that infects bacteria. It consists of an icosahedral (20-sided) head, which contains the genetic material (red), a tail and tail fibres, which fix it to a specific receptor site on the bacterium. The tail injects its genetic material into the bacterium, and this hijacks the bacterium’s own cellular machinery, forcing it to produce more copies of the virus. Flagella from the bacteria can be seen, both near the site of infection and spiraling away into the distance.
By Jonathan Heras, Equinox Graphics®
(Source: Flickr / equinoxgraphics)