Monday, September 05, 2011

Antibiotic resistance is not new

Antibiotic resistance is always given as the biggest example of the relevance of the theory of evolution to medicine today, such as here and here. But AAAS Science magazine reports:
A new study concludes that bacteria have been resistant to modern antibiotics for far longer than humans have actually used these drugs. Indeed, the researchers isolated resistance genes from bacterial DNA preserved in ice for more than 30,000 years.
Millions of people use antibiotic soap everyday, and I have never heard of any bacteria evolving to be resistant to that soap. There are antibiotics that fail to cure some infections, but I am not sure how much evolution has to do with it.

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