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

COVID in Sight

SARS-CoV-2 infecting cells imaged by helium ion microscopy

27 February 2021

COVID in Sight

The world’s focus is on coronavirus, but it’s an invisible enemy - impossible to see even with most microscopes. Seeing SARS-CoV-2 (the virus behind COVID-19) in action can reveal clues about how it works and how to fight it. So far, most attempts to observe its nefarious behaviour have been with scanning electron microscopes, which scan surfaces with a beam of electrons to produce an image. However, this approach requires samples to be first coated in a conductive material like gold, which can interfere with the structure of the subjects. Now a team has used helium ion microscopy to image the virus (artificially coloured blue) interacting with infected monkey kidney cells. This technique sidesteps the need for a coating, and provides detailed images which should reveal how the virus attaches to cells. This will both highlight natural defence mechanisms in action and guide new approaches for treatment.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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.