Bacterial organisms may self-destruct as a means to prevent the spread of viruses that could kill an entire colony. The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, examined two strains of Escherichia coli bacteria and found that bacterium infected with a virus would kill itself before the virus had a chance to spread. Self-destruction ultimately has little effect on the rest of the colony, researchers say, meaning that a suicidal bacteria colony has a higher chance of survival than non-suicidal bacteria, which succumbs quicker to viruses.

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