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Technology This is what the deadly coronavirus looks like under a microscope

20:35  14 february  2020
20:35  14 february  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the disease COVID-19, which has claimed over 1,300 lives and sickened tens of thousands of people, primarily in the Hubei province of China where it originated. We are well aware of the frightening toll it is taking. Now we also have a better look at the virus itself.

This scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 shows the coronavirus with a backdrop of cells in pink and blue. NIAID-RML© Provided by CNET This scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 shows the coronavirus with a backdrop of cells in pink and blue. NIAID-RML

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released new images of the virus on Thursday.

NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana used specialized equipment, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, to capture the digitally colorized close-ups.

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A transmission electron microscope captured this image of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which has a distinctive crown-like appearance. NIAID-RML© Provided by CNET A transmission electron microscope captured this image of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which has a distinctive crown-like appearance. NIAID-RML

The virus sample used in the images was isolated from a patient in the US.

The COVID-19 virus looks very similar to microscope images of related coronaviruses MERS and SARS. "That is not surprising: The spikes on the surface of coronaviruses give this virus family its name – corona, which is Latin for 'crown,' and most any coronavirus will have a crown-like appearance," NIAID said.

This scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 shows the coronavirus with a backdrop of cells in pink and blue.© NIAID-RML

This scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 shows the coronavirus with a backdrop of cells in pink and blue.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency at the end of January.

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