The Hot Zone

How many different proteins make up an Ebola virus particle? What is known about them?

in part one of the Hot Zone

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"The Ebola virus particle contains only seven different proteins-seven large molecules. Three of these proteins are vaguely understood, and four of the proteins are completely unknown-their structure and their function is a mystery. Whatever these Ebola proteins do, they seem to target the immune system for special attack. In this they are like HIV, which also destroys the immune system, but unlike the onset of HIV, the attack of Ebola is explosive. As Ebola sweeps through you, your immune system fails, and you seem to lose your ability to respond to viral attack. Your body becomes a city under seige, with its gates thrown open and hostile armies pouring in, making camp in the public squares and setting everything on fire; and from the moment Ebola enters your blood stream, the war is already lost; you are almost certainly doomed. You can't fight off Ebola the way you fight off a cold. Ebola does in ten days what it takes AIDS ten years to accomplish."


The Hot Zone