Examples of Evolution: Antibiotic Resistance


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My AP Biology Thoughts

Unit 7 Natural Selection

EPISODE TITLE: Antibiotic Resistance

Welcome to My AP Biology Thoughts podcast, I am Emily Greenberg and I am Angelina Graf and we will be your hosts for “Unit 7 Heredity: Examples of Evolution-antibiotic resistance”. In episode 113, we will be discussing antibiotic resistance and how it relates to the AP Biology Curriculum.

Segment 1: Overview of antibiotic resistance

  • Antibiotics are drugs that fight infections that are caused by bacteria
  • Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria and germs build up resistance to the medications that are meant to kill them
  • Antibiotic resistant germs are often very difficult to treat and dangerous infections can emerge
  • A common misconception is that antibiotic resistance means that the body is resisting antibiotics, however it is actually the bacteria that is becoming resistant to antibiotics
  • Overuse of antibiotics is one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance

Segment 2: Evidence that supports antibiotic resistance

  • Antibiotics also kill good bacteria that help to protect the body from infection
  • Antibiotic resistant germs can spread throughout healthcare facilities, the environment, and other communities.
  • The action of an antibiotic is an environmental pressure
  • Species have to adapt and evolve in order to survive these pressures
  • We know that evolution is happening because bacterial infections can continue to spread even with the presence of antibiotics
  • Penicillin resistance:
  • In WWI, penicillin treatment was used to treat the wounded and by some smaller civilian populations
  • Biochemists began reporting resistance to it before the war was over and found a penicillin-inactivating enzyme secreted from a particular bacteria.
  • Over the next few decades, overuse and repeated exposure to antibiotics helped the selection and replication of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria

Segment 3: Connection to the Course

  • Antibiotic resistance evolves as a result of natural selection and genetic mutation
  • Bacteria that develop mutations that are resistant to antibiotics are more likely to survive and reproduce; this means that they are more fit
  • If resistant bacteria reproduce with other resistant bacteria, their offspring will be fully resistant and this trait will become more frequent in the gene pool
  • Overall, antibiotic resistance is dangerous because bacteria can develop resistance to extremely high amounts of antibiotics in a short amount of time which would leave patients very difficult to treat

It’s crucial to understand Antibiotic resistance to ensure that harmful antibiotic resistant bacteria don’t evolve faster than our ability to treat them

Thank you for listening to this episode of My AP Biology Thoughts. For more student-ran podcasts and digital content, make sure that you visit www.hvspn.com. (Enter your closing Tag-line)!

Music Credits:

  • "Ice Flow" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
  • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
  • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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