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Scientists use bacteria to map out NZ

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016

A team of scientists growing bacteria in the shape of New Zealand have caught the attention of their colleagues across the globe.

Producing what looks like a satellite picture at first glance, the Victoria University of Wellington researchers grew green bacteria in the shape of New Zealand's land mass and blue bacteria to resemble the surrounding ocean.

The fascinating image appeared on international science journal Cell Chemical Biology's front cover and drew attention to the need to engineer better antibiotics.

"We're faced with going back to the 1920s pre-antibiotic era where the most innocuous of wounds could potentially kill you if they became infected," Victoria University researcher Dr Jeremy Owen said.

"This is something that everybody is going to be vulnerable to."

Dr Owen's image comes as the World Health Organization last week held its World Antibiotic Awareness Week to highlight bacteria's increasing ability to resist antibiotic treatments.

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