Medicine: Viruses with Heads

The phenomenal new electron microscope (TIME, Dec. 14, 1942) has been taking a good long look at hitherto invisible objects. In the last two issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association, its bacteriological discoveries have been summarized. (Most of the 60 machines in existence are used in industrial work.) The microscope's great magnifications—50,000 to 130,000 times normal size—have proved the existence of some things (e.g., molecules) only imagined before, of other things never imagined.* Some findings:

¶ Bacteria are far from being homogeneous globs of matter. The micrographs clearly show membranes, nuclei, sometimes surrounding capsules and whiplike appendages called flagella....

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