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Thugs and Bugs

Cellular pathogens act like human criminals

From across the street, a man clad in a black suit surveys an office building. Several of his henchmen have just cut the building's phone lines and scrambled its Internet and cell phone signals so that the workers inside have no way to summon help. Striding confidently, the man ducks into the building's service elevator. After punching in a secret code—learned from covert surveillance—he easily slips inside the thick metal doors and zooms upward.

The elevator drops him off on the top floor, where he spies a young woman sitting in a nearby office. "Can I help you?" she asks.

He says, "The name is Coli. Edward Coli. I'm a friend of your boss."

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