Watch how fast antibiotic-resistant bacteria evolve

This sobering demonstration of the development of antibiotic-resistent bacteria over an 11-day period comes from Harvard Medical School and was reported this week in Science magazine. Despite the obvious limitations and shortcomings of such a demonstration, it should be enough to make most folks think twice about popping antibiotics unecessarily.



Categories: Health, Sci/Tech

16 replies

  1. I know that people have abused antibiotics in the past. It seems I’ve been around so long I remember when they first came out (practically!). So I remember doctors handing out prescriptions for antibiotics for every little cough. I think things have changed, and doctors are more prudent now.

    • Doctors are more prudent now, but I understand a lot of people will press for an antibiotic prescription until their doctor relents. (Hope there aren’t too many doctors like that.) And certainly we’ve all heard that resistant bacteria are on the rise and are becoming a major concern.

  2. It’s not just antibiotic use that has led to resistant strains. It’s this culture’s obsession with sanitizing everything – with bleach wipes, Lysol spray, antibacterial soaps and so on. Plain old soap and water with a little friction is the best way to prevent spread of germs, and exposure to some actually builds personal resistance. Unless someone is immune deficient, the body should be allowed to do what it was created to do and resist infection in a normal way.

    • Ah yes, but there was so much money to be made with those antibacterial products! I blame the manufacturers.

      The govt. moved recently to ban a lot of the ingredients in antibacterial products, so many of those may be disappearing soon. Meanwhile, a lot can be accomplished on environmental surfaces with plain old bleach or alcohol. And Betadine (povidone iodine), that doctors scrub with, is available over the counter.

      What got me with the video was how fast the bacteria adapted to and overcame higher levels of the antibacterial agent. Up to 1000 times stronger didn’t stop them. The point of the demonstration, actually, was species adaptation and evolution, not antibacterial resistance. Still, very interesting.

  3. It is rare that I take antibiotics these days and I go to great lengths to make sure they are not in my food.

  4. I usually forget to take the stuff, probably better off,.

    I do wish they’d leave that damned music stuff out makes it very difficult for hearing impaired people like me to understand and hear what is being said, which after all is the point of the video in the first place.

    The days of silent movies with a piano thumping away is long gone!

    • I hadn’t noticed the music until you mentioned it. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’d prefer no music on most videos because if it’s not something I happen to like, it will be very distracting.

      • I actually missed much of what was being said and had to rely on the video and worked out with the little I heard what it was all about.
        Obviously the people who produce these clips don’t realize or understand that there are those not fortunate enough to hear properly

        • Back in the early days of blogging, or even before that, when people were designing their own pages from scratch, a LOT of people thought it was cool to put background music on their blogs (probably just because it was a novelty to be able to do so). It started as soon as you landed on the blog and continued until you either shut off your volume or left the site. I hated it. I like to read in peace.

  5. Plain soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap.

  6. Awesome post! The possibility of super resistant bacteria actually wiping us of this planet is really high.

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