Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nasty Wound Leads to Bacteria Discovery

Microscopic image showing newly discovered bacterial strain; cell walls are red, DNA is blue.

An Indiana man's nasty injury led scientists to discover a new type of bacteria that sheds light on symbiotic microbes in insects.

Two years ago, Thomas Fritz cut down a dead crab apple tree in his yard. He fell while hauling away the woody debris and a branch from the tree impaled his right hand between the thumb and index finger.

Fritz, a 71-year-old retired inventor, engineer and volunteer firefighter, bandaged the gash himself. 

He waited a few days to see a doctor and by the time of his appointment, the puncture wound became infected. 

The doctor took a sample of the cyst that formed at the site of the cut and sent it to a lab.

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