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The bacteria are the most numerous type of cell found in salt lakes and are believed to be responsible for their characteristic red colour.
Though the discovery was made decades ago, scientists found it extremely difficult to grow these bacteria in a lab to be able to study them. In 2004 they succeeded!
Bacterial strains of this shape can be engineered to efficiently take up toxins present at low concentrations in water sources and are being researched for bioremediation applications.
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