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Study casts doubt on minibacteria

Two years ago, some scientists claimed to have found a new class of ultratiny microbes that others argued were too small to be real. A new analysis in the Oct. 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the naysayers were right.

Several years ago, John O. Cisar learned of Finnish scientist Olavi Kajander's reported discovery of nanobacteria, unusually small bacteria allegedly responsible for kidney stones in many people (SN: 8/1/98, p. 75: http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc98/8_1_98/bob2.htm). Cisar wondered whether the bacteria could be found in places other than blood, which is where Kajander had originally isolated them.

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