The protein shell of viruses provides maximum internal volume in the most economical conformation by adopting icosahedral symmetry.

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"There are several reasons why viruses adopt icosahedral symmetry. One is that triangulating a dome into 20 is the best way of producing a shell of equivalently bonded identical structures. It is the minimum free energy structure." (Cann 2004)

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Virus structureUniversity of LeicesterCann, Alan

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