This beautiful piece of awesome appears on the cover of the June 2012 edition of PLoS Pathogens and shows “newly forming HIV virions in the leading edge of dynamic filopedia”, as published here.
Specifically, the paper was looking at ways HIV is able to transfer between dendritic and CD4 T immune cells, aiding in the progression of the viral infection.
By using live dynamic imaging of HIV infected dendritic cells, they found that the viral particles actually hijack projections on the surface of the immune cells (filopodia), thereby corrupting the ability of the immune cells to interact.
At the same time, this enables HIV particles to be “launched”, facilitating further infection.
In relation to the above image, what you can see is the incorporation of HIV into dendritic cell filopodia, with HIV particles in white, filopodial networks in red, and the cellular nucleus in blue.
We’re on to you, HIV.