Image: Courtesy of Ali Fattom
THE END IS NEAR: S. aureus attached to tissue

If Scottish surgeon Alexander Ogsten ever daydreamed that discovering Staphylococcus aureus would win acclamation, it was before he crossed paths with the British Medical Journal and came away the worse for it, squashed like a cockroach caught scurrying across a tray of tea and crumpets. Upbraiding the upstart for daring to step beyond his place, the editor dismissed Ogsten's 1881 paper on the bacterium, jotting in swift strokes of ink that "little of any worth comes from Scotland."

Let us pause a moment to savor this naked insult, those of us who admit to guilty pleasure in watching scientists fight, for here the curtains opened upon a field in which interesting acrimony has often flourished right alongside interesting science. Credit this state of delight to the molecular properties of S. aureus, being as it is...

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