And Now, an E. coli Bacterium That's Fifteen Feet Long

It seems strangely appropriate to spend some time on the scariest day of the year examining the world's largest model of the notorious E. coli bacterium. This model is two million times larger than E. coli itself.

The model is the work of microbiologist Dr. Harry Tribe, and it's just been put on display at Aston University in Birmingham, England. It recently received the Guinness World Record for being the largest scientific model ever built relative to the size of its actual subject. Here's a description of the model from Aston University:

The aim is to allow the public to gain an idea of the inner workings of the bacterium on a giant scale, with the model approximately five metres long and two metres tall. It showcases the DNA, proteins and other molecules of E.coli - the parts that humans would normally never see. The model highlights the incredible abilities of the superbug, including its capability of creating 1850 different proteins in half an hour and its ability to swim by flagella powered by tiny motors capable of 1000 revolutions per minute.

Despite E. coli's bad reputation, the vast majority of strains of the bacterium are completely harmless and often can actually be beneficial, although of course a few are indeed capable of causing deadly food poisoning. For more cool images of the model, check out its website.

Via Aston University.