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    Antibiotic resistance

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    1.Today, scientific advances are being made at an astounding rate, and nowhere is this more evident than in our understanding of the biology of heredity. Using DNA as a starting point, are there limits to the knowledge people should acquire? Defend your answer.

    Because genetics is important to so many aspects of human behavior, defense attorneys might consider using a defendant's genetic constitution as a strategy to excuse criminal behavior.
    Present an argument about why a defendant's genes should be considered as a factor in the criminal behavior.

    2.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.

    Discuss how can further evolution of antibiotic resistance can or cannot be prevented.

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    Solution Preview

    As you know, BrainMass does not write essays for students. Therefore, I will present some ideas for you - use them as you see fit - that you can weave into your own essay.
    Stephen Allen
    OTA 104330

    1. Do you believe that there are limits, artificial or natural, to the obtaining of knowledge? Better yet, just what is knowledge? Have you ever asked yourself that question? The question presupposes that we all share a basic understanding of knowledge. Do we?

    What types of knowledge are there? Well, there's physical material knowledge of the universe. There's also non-material, spiritual knowledge of the universe. Some types of material knowledge may be useful, while other types may not be. The same goes for spiritual knowledge. Knowledge of "God" may be beneficial, whereas too much intimate knowledge of the "devil" may not be. It may lead to problems, deceptions, and possession.

    Material knowledge, by itself, may appear neutral. However, all knowledge is filtered through the human mind(s). So the more important issue is, "What's going on in our minds?" Are they rooted in those nobler and higher attributes of man, such as "honesty", "morality", "self-restraint", "diligence", "love" . . . Or is the mind filled with "avarice", "immorality", "laziness", "hatred" . . .?

    These are the more relevant questions. Your teacher has missed the mark.

    You cannot "stop" people from acquiring knowledge. To do so is to "impose" an outside, arbitrary force to control people. On the other hand, perhaps people should restrain themselves and figure out what types of knowledge are relevant and useful and which types will probably lead to chaos, confusion, and more problems.

    When my wife was pregnant with our children, we both had no desire whatsoever to find out the sex of our babies before they were born. Oh, the arguments were there - what if he has some genetic disorder? Well, what if he did? Am I going to kill it because of that? What if the genetic test was wrong? After all, no test is 100% accurate. What if I learned to love the child regardless? What if I was blessed in ways I couldn't understand at the time?

    The point I'm making is this: What's the point of all this "knowledge"? What practical good would be made of it? In fact, anybody with even a cursory knowledge of history could state the following: Advances in some knowledge have contributed to much misery and suffering in the world. On the other hand, we could say the reverse: Advances in some other aspects of knowledge have contributed to much benefit in the world. So where are we? Knowledge itself is not the issue. The mind is the issue. The spirituality of our minds is the key.

    The question is not, whether or not we should acquire all forms of knowledge. The question is, how do I handle the knowledge? Am I prepared to deal with the consequences? What about wisdom? Wisdom is way more important than knowledge. Wisdom deals with this question: What do I do with all this knowledge? Will I make "loving" decisions - and by loving, I mean, decisions that will benefit not only me but others too. By loving decisions, I also mean decisions that take into account all the data, not just some of it. We usually draw the wrong conclusions and make bad decisions when we don't have all the facts. Data collection is probably more important than just obtaining knowledge. Do we look way down the road to see the consequences of our decisions? These are the important questions that you might want to consider as you attempt to make up your mind.


    2. This question is very ...