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    The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations is a direct consequence of natural selection applied by widespread use of antibiotic drugs.

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    The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations is a direct consequence of natural selection applied by widespread use of antibiotic drugs. When a new antibiotic is first introduced, it kills the vast majority of bacteria exposed to it. The surviving bacterial cells, however, may include individuals whose genomes happen to include a mutant gene that confers resistance. As Darwin understood, individuals carrying the resistance gene will leave behind a disproportionately large share of offspring, which inherit the gene. If the environment consistently contains an antibiotic, bacteria carrying the resistance gene will eventually come to predominate. Because bacteria reproduce so rapidly and have comparatively high rates of mutation, evolutionary change leading to resistant populations is often rapid.

    We have accelerated the pace of the evolution of antibiotic resistance by introducing massive quantities of antibiotics into the bacteria's environment. Each year, U.S. physicians prescribe more than 100 million courses of antibiotics; the Centers for Disease Control estimate that about half of these prescriptions are unnecessary. An additional 20 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to farm animals annually. The use of antibacterial soaps and cleansers has become routine in many households. As a result of this massive alteration of the bacterial environment, resistant bacteria are now found not only in hospitals and the bodies of sick people but are also widespread in our food supply and in the environment. Our heavy use (many would say overuse) of antibiotics means that susceptible bacteria are under constant attack and that resistant strains have little competition. In our fight against disease, we rashly overlooked some basic principles of evolutionary biology and are now paying a heavy price.

    Please help me write a 1-2 page paper on how you think the further evolution of antibiotic resistance can or cannot be prevented. Use the Library or other Internet sources to support your conclusion.

    Objective: Identify plant and animal cell structure and functions

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    Solution Preview

    The question for this essay concerns how we think the further evolution of antibiotic resistance can or cannot be prevented, right? Well, let's start with this sentence. "Each year, U.S. physicians prescribe more than 100 million courses of antibiotics; the Centers for Disease Control estimate that about half of these prescriptions are unnecessary." If we were to use logic and sound reasoning (something sorely lacking in our world today, especially when there's money to be made), we could do a lot to slow down (and even reverse) the course of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Where do we start? We start with the doctors who are over-prescribing them in the first place! According to the CDC, there are over 50,000,000 unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics in the US alone! This is insane! However, if you look at it from the drug company's point of view, it's very lucrative. That's one big chunk of change. But equally important to consider is the fact that doctors earn a cut from each prescription they give out. What an incentive! Therefore, instead of assisting patients in a natural way, a homeopathic way, a holistic ...

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