Nature is Fascinating

So, we’ve all heard about how bacteria are starting to adapt to our antibiotics, right? (It’s standard-issue survival of the fittest stuff–the bacteria that can best survive antibiotics survive and reproduce, leading to more antibiotic resistant bacteria.)

Well, apparently, there are now bacteria that literally eat our antibiotics. The bacteria cited in the article can, if necessary, live only on antibiotics.

The good news is that these bacteria aren’t the kind that attack humans, but the bad news is that they’re “closely related to those that cause cystic fibrosis (Burkholderia cepacia) and blood infections (Serratia marcescens).”

On the one hand it’s terrible, because as we continue to overuse antibiotics and antibacterial soaps and the like, this is going to happen faster and faster until the antibiotic-resistant strains of our most dreaded diseases are the most common strains. On the other hand, it’s fascinating to hear about these new strains of bacteria evolving right before our eyes.

One thought on “Nature is Fascinating

  1. I agree. We could actually do this with people too. Spray everyone with pest(people)icide. 1-2% actually survive because they have some genetic make up that is in the population that was previously unknown (nobody ever sprayed us before). Lets also say that this trait is correlated with black hair. These “purified” form of humans go on to have babies with similar genetic code. Depending on whether it is a dominant or regressive trait, the population has a greater or lesser % of people with the pesticide / black hair trait. Keep spraying them repeatedly until the everyone has black hair and is immune to the pesticide. Since the pesticide is organic based and is no longer deleterious someone tries eating it and whoo hoo, it tastes good! With respect to pesticides there is a positive change, but with respect to hair color it has reduced variation in the population. All you really have done is to change the environment such that it stomps out some genotypes in comparison to other genotypes.