The US National Institute for the Study of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has partnered with Rocky Mountains Laboratories (RML) to release the first scanning electron microscope images of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Contrary to the prevailing perception of it as a killer virus, it looks surprisingly aesthetically pleasing.
The first photo (the virus was taken from a patient in the USA) shows the viral particles, colored in yellow, at the moment of leaving the cell, which is colored blue and pink. All colors are conditional, they are added only for ease of perception.
The next image is not as clear compared to the previous one, but here we see corona-like processes on the surface of the virus body, which give the coronavirus its name.
By the way, coronaviruses are a whole family, which also includes SARS (SARS virus) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, an outbreak of which occurred in 2015 in South Korea). They differ from each other at the genome level. There are five nucleotide differences between the three viruses, which significantly affect the nature of the infection.