E. GUEHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY E. GUEHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fungus Aspergillus flavus, a causative agent of liver cancer and aspergillosis. Here, a fungal thread of the vegetative mycelium has developed at its tip a spore-producing fruiting body. Found in soil and decaying vegetation, this fungus produces aflatoxin, a virulent toxin which may contaminate stored food (particularly carbohydrates). It is a toxin known to induce liver cancer. A.flavus also is one of the Aspergillus species which causes aspergillosis, more commonly in the tropics. This is a respiratory infection in people with weakened lungs, or lowered resistance, and may be fatal. Magnification: x300 at 6x7cm size.
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