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These 12 Viruses Look Beautiful Up Close But Would Kill You If They Could (PHOTOS)

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Infectious diseases like AIDS and hepatitis are never pretty. But the pathogens that cause many potentially deadly infections turn out to be absolutely beautiful when viewed under powerful microscopes.

"Nowadays scientists use X-ray crystallography and more recently by cryo-electron microscopy with 3D reconstruction," Dr. Jean-Yves Sgro, a senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin and an expert on imaging pathogens, told The Huffington Post in an email. "In many cases that means we have an atomic resolution of the virus" that spotlights the pathogens' amazing structure.

Check out 12 visually striking viruses below:

  • Swine Flu Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
    Stocktrek Images via Getty Images
  • Yellow Fever Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Hepatitis C Virus
    Marc Phares via Getty Images
  • West Nile Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Simian Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Poliovirus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Influenza Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Smallpox Virus
  • Measles Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Dengue Virus
    SCIEPRO via Getty Images
  • Coronavirus (SARS)
    PASIEKA via Getty Images

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