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Evolution of bacteria in relation to human disease

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Bacterial mutations are a great example of natural selection, especially those that cause the flu. But what happens when we can't develop a vaccine for a certain type of flu bacteria? If it turns out to be a deadly type, think about the population in the big cities that could be effected.

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In this solution I discuss the evolution of bacteria in relation to disease causing bacteria, specifically those mutant strains that are resistant to human medicines. I specifically think through what would happen to a city of people infected with such a drug resistant micro-organism.

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Bacteria are a good model system for the study of evolution because they reproduce rapidly. This rapid reproduction allows researchers to examine multiple generations of bacteria within hours or days. However, bacterial reproduction can wreak havoc on human populations because bacteria evolve so fast they can develop immunity to flu vaccines and antibiotics rapidly. This immunity often occurs because of the selective pressure our medicines put on bacteria populations. We are essentially selecting those individuals that are least affected by our ...

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