Photograph of a petri dish culture growing mixed colonies of the bacteria Escherichia coli (larger, redish blob) and Staphylococcus aureus (pyogenes) (smaller, white blob). Both bacteria inhabit the healthy human body; E. coli, occuring in the intestines where it ferments lactose and S. aureus, found on skin & muscous membranes. Under certain circumstances both bacteria may become pathogenic; E. coli causing an infection of the urinogenital tract and S. aureus found in abundance in pus-filled infections (boils, abscesses, wounds). Research using E. coli as the experimental organism has contributed much to the advancement of molecular biology & biotechnolgy.
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