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A team of researchers have found two bacterial species that produce tellurium oxyanions as respiratory electron acceptors for growth, leaving elemental tellurium in the form of nanoparticles. The crystals from the two organisms exhibit distinctively different structures. Bacillus selenitireducens initially forms nanorods that cluster together to form rosettes. Sulfurospirillum barnesii forms irregularly-shaped nanospheres that coalesce into larger composite aggregates.