from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The protein shell that surrounds a virus particle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The outer protein shell of a virus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the Capsidæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the outer covering of protein surrounding the nucleic acid of a virus
  • n. a variety of leaf bug


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin capsa, box.


  • The viral capsid is an icosahedron with 12 antenna-like fiber projections that function to attach the virus to the cell surface during infection.

    Genes in pieces

  • These two have discovered that by using a ultrashort-pulse laser (USP) they can destroy the protein shell (called a capsid) of viruses in a way that will not destroy human cells.

    Vibrational Medicine

  • Most viruses in the ocean consist of nucleic acids surrounded by a protein coat (called a capsid).

    Marine viruses

  • Similarly, the different elements composing the virions, namely the capsid proteins and the ssDNA are also produced from the dsDNA and therefore virions production is expected to be proportional to the production of

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • The large faceted structure at the top, known as the capsid or head, contains the virus's genetic material. - latest science and technology news stories

  • Microscope scans revealed that the pathogen had the same generic constitution as an average viral agent, as in it had an outer layer made of proteins - which is known as the capsid - and an inner core, which contained the DNA information.

    Softpedia News - Global

  • HIV uses this protein package, a cone-shaped container called a "capsid," to transport its genetic material into the host cell, after binding with receptors on the cell's surface.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • a series of irreversible transformations, such as capsid disassembly or reverse transcription, take place from state is reached.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • Previous research by Dr. Yeager and others had shown that the capsid, or internal shell, of the virus has a honeycomb structure.

    New Math in HIV Fight

  • If the honeycomb suffered too many mutations, it wouldn't interlock, and the capsid would collapse.

    New Math in HIV Fight


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  • "But the odds of finding a pathogen would rise if it were one of the viruses wrapped in a protective sheath called a capsid."

    —Richard Stone, Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), 202

    September 22, 2008