Scanning electron micrograph of a T4 bacteriophage. Viruses infect every known organism on Earth; these peculiar bug-like ones infect bacteria.
I know it’s creepy but I’ve always loved how these look.
Okay, seriously, I think these things are just about one of the coolest things ever.
Bacteriophages (phage for short) infect bacterial cells, but in one of the most curious manners. They attach to the cell membrane of the other cell and, as if they were an epidermic needle of some sort, inject into the host cell a copy of their nucleic coding, which can take on the form of single-stranded or double-stranded RNA or DNA. This ‘injection’ basically takes over the host bacterial cell, and transforms it into what is basically a factory for new copies of the phage.
re-reblogging for that explanation, because yes! so cool!