the Ebola virus
The Ebola Virus, 2014
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Chris Kemp, and Diana Torres
Dr. Lukas Tamm, Center for Membrane Biology, University of Virginia
Virtual Photograph/PHSCologram: Duratrans, Kodalth, Plexiglas
30 x 30 inches
Ebola viruses belong to the Filoviridae virus family because of their string-like appearance, filum being Latin for thread or string. The outer layer is the viral membrane that holds the virus together, while inside lies the spiral of the viral RNA, the virus’ genetic material that is decorated with nucleoproteins. The nucleoproteins wrap the RNA into its helical shape. The knobs on the surface of the virus are glycoproteins that attach the virus to the outer surface of human cells and help the virus to sneak its way into the cells by breaching the cell’s own membrane.
Dr. Lukas Tamm and the Center for Membrane Biology at the University of Virginia, specifically studies the Ebola virus’s method of breaching other cell membranes. This is something the virus is incredibly apt at doing and is a major factor that leads to its rapid spread within the human body. The more that is understood for Dr. Tamm’s research, the better the chances are at finding an end to this deadly disease.