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Proteus mirabilis colonies

Proteus mirabilis colonies on depleted medium in false color by Sune Dano and Kasper Dyring-Anderson. From Dr. James Shapiro's lab where he studies bacterial genetics, and is interested in pattern formation during colony growth. Photo from microbialart.com

Dr. James Shapiro is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. He is a bacterial geneticist whose research covers what he calls “natural genetic engineering”, in which organisms may actively restructure their genomes in response to environmental stresses, particularly through the action of mobile genetic elements. He also studies pattern formation during colony growth and, from the beginning, he has appreciated the artistic quality of colonies and the important scientific message that they contain about multicellular regulation.

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