BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Travelling by Tube
23 May 2012

Travelling by Tube

AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) carries a ‘key’ to the cellular ‘doors’ of the immune system. Once inside, the virus either ransacks the cell or ‘squats’ indefinitely. This could last a few weeks or many years. Should the virus receive a signal to search out a fresh haven, it can transfer easily from cell to cell. How it does so has not been clear, until recently. Now researchers have discovered a means of cell communication that provides an ideal portal for the itinerant virus. T cells – a common target for HIV – (represented in red and green) collide within our bloodstream. As they pull apart a fine tube of membrane can keep them connected. Infecting some cells with HIV and shaking them so that such nanotubes can't form, prevents the virus from ‘moving home’. Researchers believe this is an important mode of HIV transmission presenting new opportunities for drug therapy.

Written by Lindsey Goff

Published in Nature Cell Biology

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.