Prickly Protein (image) University of Iowa Health Care Caption Images taken with a scanning electron microscope show wild-type bacteria (left) forming tight aggregates or clumps in the presence of blood proteins. In contrast, cells of the mutant strain (right) over produce a giant surface protein, have a spiky appearance, and do not clump tightly together. This clumping defect makes the mutant strain less deadly in an experimental model of the serious staph infection, endocarditis. Credit Alexander Horswill, University of Iowa Usage Restrictions Image may be used with appropriate credit for non-commercial or educational purposes. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.