SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Escherichia coli bacteria. The tubes connecting the bacteria are pili, which are used to transfer genetic material between bacteria in a process known as conjunction. E. coli are Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria that are part of the normal flora of the human gut. Some strains produce a toxin that causes severe diarrhoea and can be fatal, especially in the very young or elderly. Magnification: x27,800 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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