Genes & Cells

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Yersinia pestis bacteria

TINY KILLERS  Acquiring one gene and one mutation allowed these plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis (shown in yellow in a flea’s digestive system in this colored scanning electron micrograph), to cause deadly pandemics. 

skin bacteria illustration

ACNE ACCELERATOR  Vitamin B12 can lead normal skin bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (shown in artist’s rendition) to pump out pimple-producing chemicals.

poachers stand over the body of an elephant

ILLEGAL IVORY  Poachers stand over the body of an elephant killed for its tusks. With a genetic analysis of seized ivory, researchers have pinpointed two major poaching hot spots in Africa.

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