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Microbiology

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illustration of potential alien microbes

ITSY BITSY ALIENS Americans would probably welcome the discovery of microbial alien life.

phages

VIRAL ATTACK  Viruses called phages (shown landing on the surface of a cell in this transmission electron micrograph) can infect and kill bacteria. Scientists have just found a slew of new defense mechanisms that help bacteria resist such assaults.

TAILOR-MADE  A semisynthetic strain of Escherichia coli makes glowing green proteins using amino acids not found in nature.

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