Saturday, June 4, 2011

Visual illustration of cell size and scale, including the flu virus

I often write about viruses and bacteria as they relate to public health, and I based my novel, Dormant, on my studies of influenza outbreaks. In the larger sense, I knew that bacteria are smaller than cells and that viruses are even smaller than that, but it took the visual illustration below to help me understand how truly tiny that is. Seeing the comparisons unfold is a lot more real than knowing that a virus is 130 nanometers.

This Cell Size and Scale illustration is truly incredible. Go ahead, take a moment to click on the image below. The flu virus shows up a little past half-way on the slider. Then you can keep going to compare it to the truly minute.

Cell Size and Scale


  1. This is a neat tool. The history of how viruses were discovered is fascinating.

  2. Robert: I should blog about that discovery. Thank you for the idea!