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Microscopy image of a living E. coli bacterium, revealing the patchy nature of its protective outer membrane. A densely packed network of proteins is interrupted by smooth, protein-free islands (labelled by dashed lines in the inset). (Benn et al. UCL)

Sharpest Images of Living Bacteria Reveal Possible Weak Spots

The sharpest images ever of living bacteria have been recorded by UCL researchers, revealing the complex architecture of the protective layer that surrounds many bacteria and makes them harder to be killed by antibiotics. The study reveals that bacteria with protective outer layers — called Gram-negative bacteria — may have stronger and weaker spots on their surface.

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