Saturday, March 13, 2010
On page 130, Jerry Coyne shares one side of evolution that may be harming humans: antibiotic resistance. Explain how antibiotic resistance relates to evolution. Fossils suggest that species take millions of years to evolve, so how is it that penicillin, which was produced in 1940, could have already evolved? If bacteria continue to evolve, what will happen if the medical world is unable to keep up with these "superbugs"? What else can we potentially use to fight infection if we have no antibiotics? (Hint: think viruses) What effect does the use of antibacterial hand sanitizers and soaps have on this phenomenon?