RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Anthrax bacterium. Artwork of the structure of a Bacillus anthracis bacterium, the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The outer layer is the capsule (green, lower frame), made from poly-D- glutamic acid. Inside this lies the S-layer (grey spheres) of protein. The cell wall comprises the pink peptidoglycan and blue plasma membrane layers. The DNA genetic material is contained in the nucleoid (orange lumpy area) at the centre of the cell. It is surrounded by the cytoplasm, which is filled with ribosomes (dots). B. anthracis is a Gram-positive bacterium that can cause a skin or lung infection. The lung infection is nearly always fatal.
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