JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Light micrograph of a colony of Bacillus cereus, a species of Gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming bacteria. The Bacillus genus includes B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. B. cereus is an important cause of food poisoning, occurring in soil & therefore on vegetables eaten by humans, notably rice. In recent times a special association with Chinese-style fried rice has been observed. Boiling rice does not destroy B. cereus, and if the rice is allowed to remain warm before being fried (at 30-37 degrees C.), the organism multiplies & secretes exotoxins that are not destroyed in the final frying. Magnification: X 250 at 35mm size.
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