False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing a genetically-engineered strain of the bacterium, Escherichia coli, synthesising human Interleukin-2 (IL-2), a naturally-occuring cancer therapeutic. Here, the red region inside the bacterium represents IL-2, a natural product of the T-lymphocytes of the immune system. In cancer immunotherapy, IL-2 is used to activate natural killer cells; the resulting lymphokine- activated killer (LAK) cells have toxic effects on certain types of tumours. E.coli is widely used in biotechnology & molecular genetics research, as a vehicle for the mass production of useful natural substances. Magnification unknown.
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