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EMBL-EBI_Structures_of_Christmas_2016_FOOTANDMOUTH

3D printout: molecular structure of foot-and-mouth-disease virus.

An entity that causes a hideous disease in cattle: Foot-and-mouth-disease virus. The foot-and-mouth-disease virus is a large RNA virus that causes a horrible, highly infectious disease in cattle. It has a capsid (made of protein) that contains a single strand of RNA and binds to a receptor site on the membrane of a host cell, kind of like using a magnetic ID card to open a door. Once it’s inside, the capsid dissolves and the RNA goes through the cell’s ribosomes to get translated into more viral proteins. The kicker is that some of these proteins block the synthesis of normal cell proteins. So the cell is completely taken over – good for nothing else but making virus until it bursts. It’s a nasty little thing.

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