Poliovirus particles. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of poliovirus particles. Each virus consists of a protein coat (capsid) surrounding a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Poliovirus infects children causing the disease poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis. Although it normally only causes a mild illness, in some cases it infects the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause severe damage, leading to paralysis or death. Vaccination, which started in the 1950s, has been successful in controlling the disease. It has now been eliminated from Europe. Magnification x550,000 when printed at 10 centimetres across.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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