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[...] cells were removed to a cover glass and treated with plasma for 2 min, then returned to TS broth and centrifuged for 10 min. Cells were harvested and washed twice with PBS, then mixed with tryptic soy agar. The agar block was fixed with 2·5% glutaraldehyde in 0·1 mol l−1 PBS. Samples were postfixed in 1% (w/v) OsO4 in 0·1 mol l−1 PBS for 2 h at room temperature, washed once with the same buffer, dehydrated in a graded ethanol series and embedded in low‐viscosity medium. Thin sections of the specimens were double‐stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate...

What does mean this bolded point? Is it a decimal separator, or has other scientific meaning?

If this is decimal point, why is vertically middle aligned?

Source: a recent Korea researchers team article

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Short answer

It's a decimal point.

Longer answer

A point in the 'middle' of the neighboring characters is called an interpunct, and was the standard in UK typography for marking a decimal at one point in time (possibly elsewhere as well). You're most likely to encounter it in older issues in UK and UK-inspired journals, and no doubt some have lagged behind the trends for reasons of tradition/stubbornness or whatever else and still use it.

Note that you will also encounter countries that use the comma as a decimal separator; Wikipedia has a list that includes most of mainland Europe and South America, for example.

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  • $\begingroup$ I live in a country where the comma is decimal separator, this is common in Europe :) Thank you to clarifying that English Men habit ) $\endgroup$ – Serge May 7 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ This is even more strange cause encountered in a recent Korean article )) surfxtechnologies.com/fileaway-directory/full/… $\endgroup$ – Serge May 7 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ ah, ok, the article was edited in an UK Journal ) sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com $\endgroup$ – Serge May 7 at 0:58

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