NET PICS: Microbial Warfare

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Science  29 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5368, pp. 1319
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5368.1319c

A white blood cell eating a fungus. Viruses attacking a bacterium. Bacteria succumbing to penicillin. It's all on CELLS alive!, a site that portrays with drawings, micrographs, and movies the lives of microbial invaders and the body's efforts to fight them off (http://www.cellsalive.com/). This scanning electron micrograph, part of a lesson on making antibodies, depicts two immune system warriors—a human macrophage (gray) topped by a round lymphocyte—as they approach a chain of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. Other topics range from parasites to how HIV attacks cells. CELLS alive! is run by microscopist Jim Sullivan, whose company Quill Graphics supplies video microscopy for customers such as the Learning Channel and Fox TV's popular X-Files show. “I've gotten letters from fifth graders and postgraduate biologists alike,” Sullivan says. “I'm fascinated that it attracts such a broad range of people.”

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