BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Clostridium bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that cause botulism, a type of food poisoning. This Gram-positive bacteria occurs naturally in the soil, but can also flourish in badly preserved canned meat. Botulism is caused by ingesting the powerful neurotoxin produced by the bacteria, which poisons the central nervous system and can cause lethal heart or lung failure. The toxin is destroyed by cooking, although the bacteria itself can survive the heat in the form of spores. Magnification: x15,000 at 35mm size.
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