The virus looks like a spaceship. Spindly tail fibers jut out from its neck like landing supports, while its icosahedral head adds to the otherworldly appearance. But this microscopic life form is not science fiction—it is a real entity, swimming in the petri dish I hold in my hand. Its name is PDX, and one day it could save thousands of lives from fatal foodborne illness. Read more at Reed magazine.

(August 2018)

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