Watch Bacteria Become Resistant to Antibiotics in a Matter of Days: A Quick, Stop-Motion Film

The video above should ter­ri­fy you a lit­tle. Record­ed at Har­vard Med­ical School (HMS), the time-motion film lets you see “bac­te­ria [Escherichia coli] devel­op resis­tance to increas­ing­ly high­er dos­es of antibi­otics in a mat­ter of days.” And it amounts, says Har­vard, to “the first large-scale glimpse of the maneu­vers of bac­te­ria as they encounter increas­ing­ly high­er dos­es of antibi­otics and adapt to survive—and thrive—in them.” You can learn more about the exper­i­ment itself, and the video tech­niques used to make the stop motion, over at HMS. The exper­i­ment is also described in the Sep­tem­ber 9 issue of Sci­ence. 

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  • L. Grishman says:

    I have known about this since the 1960’s. My late sis­ter and broth­er-in-law owned a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny in South Africa. They only man­u­fac­tur­ing anal­gesic pain med­ica­tion. How­ev­er, they made sure that if any­one was pre­scribed an antibi­ot­ic in our fam­i­ly we need­ed to com­plete the entire course, even if we felt bet­ter. The rea­son being that unless the pre­scribed course of meds was com­plet­ed, our bod­ies woulld build up a resis­tance and this would cause germs to become resis­tant to antibi­otics…
    It seems to me that few physi­cians heed­ed this warn­ing. AND here we are in 2016 and fac­ing the inevitable.

    C’est la vie.

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