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The study of viruses has traditionally focused on their roles as infectious agents and as tools for understanding cell biology. Viruses are now finding a new expanded role as nanoplatforms with applications in materials science and medicine. Viruses form highly symmetrical monodisperse architectures and are ideal templates for engineering multifunctionality, including multivalent display of surface ligands and encapsulation of inorganic and organic materials. These developments assure that viruses will find applications as versatile nanoscale materials.