JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Photograph of a petri dish culture showing colonies of the bacteria, Escherichia coli, normally a harmless inhabitant of the human intestines. Here it is involved in the fermentation of lactose during digestion. Under certain circumstances, however, E. coli may be pathogenic, causing urinogenital tract infections and diarrhoea in children. It is perhaps the most researched micro-organism, revealing much of the information which enabled the advancement of molecular biology, genetic engineering & the applied field of biotechnolgy. The individual bacterium is rod shaped, motile & measures between 0.2 and 1.5 microns in diameter.
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