Webquest: Natural Selection and Antibiotic Resistance

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  • When antibiotics were created more than 75 years ago they were able to kill all known forms of bacterial infections. The thought of the time was that we had found magic bullets against bacteria and millions of people were saved over the course of years. A few years after antibiotics were introduced some of the first cases of antibiotic resistance began to appear. Over the years more cases were reported of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the medical community slowly realized that a major problem was to come.
  • According to the CDC there are more than 2 million cases of antibiotic resistance in the U.S. and out of those cases 23 thousand people die per year.

What you are doing

  • Your task is to investigate a reported case of drug resistant bacteria and understand how natural selection helps us understand how drug resistant occurs in bacteria.

Before you being your task make sure you do the following things.

  • Read lecture notes on evolution. Especially the ones pertaining to natural selection.
  • Watch video on Evolutionary arms race.

Some resources you can use

What you have to do for points

  • Look for news that involves one case of antibiotic resistant bacteria and give a short summary of what you found. Make sure to include the name of the bacteria.
  • Explain in your own words how natural selection helps us understand why drug resistance has occurred in the bacteria. In your response, explain what natural selection is and how it works in simplest terms.
  • Explain breifly how an understanding of natural selection can be used to fight drug resistant in bacteria.
  • Lastly, make sure you cite your work!

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