Model of surface antigens of an influenza virus, Canberra, Australia, 1994

Made:
1994 in Canberra
maker:
John Curtin School of Medical Research Workshops

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© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Model of surface antigens of influenza virus built for the Professor W G Laver to show the rapid mutation of the influenza virus and shown at the Royal Society in June 1994

The influenza virus has antigens on its surface called haemagglutin and neuraminidase. They can change their shape in two processes known as drift and shift. In ‘drift’, small changes occur meaning that the antibodies which protect us cannot bind and destroy the virus. In ‘shift’ an entirely new virus is created to which no one has any immunity. This makes influenza a difficult virus to protect against. The model was made for William Graeme Laver, a virologist working on a treatment for influenza, to exhibit at the Royal Society in June 1994.

Details

Category:
Biochemistry
Materials:
metal and perspex
Identifier:
1994-1034
type:
model
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Laver, W.G.