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'Time-Travelling' Bugs Resist Antibiotics Of The Future
New Scientist ^ | 6-6-2008 | Ewen Callaway

Posted on 06/06/2008 8:14:49 PM PDT by blam

'Time-travelling' bugs resist antibiotics of the future

12:42 06 June 2008
NewScientist.com news service
Ewen Callaway

Bacteria lurking in soil in the 1960s and 70s resist an antibiotic that didn't exist until decades later. Three strains of what amount to future-predicting bacteria showed extreme resistance to six common antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, which was first sold in 1989.

"You can pretty safely say that there is no way these bacteria have seen them before," says Cristiane San Miguel, a microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, US. She presented the findings this week at the American Society for Microbiology's annual meeting in Boston, US.

One strain of soil bacteria was even able to fend off a dose of ciprofloxacin that would be lethal to humans.

Dirt seems to be a rich source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which probably developed such defences as part of the evolutionary arms race that has been going on for billions of years between soil-dwelling microbes.

Many antibiotics drugs come from naturally occurring molecules produced by soil bacteria and fungi, though some drugs, such as Cipro (the brand name of ciprofloxacin), have been developed in the lab.

Bacteria to the future

To determine whether resistance to new drugs can be found in soil, San Miguel and her colleague Robert Tate turned to a company that stocks thousands of strains of frozen bacteria.

Her team revived three strains: two of them opportunistic pathogens called Klebsiella pneuomoniae that were isolated from dirt in 1973 and 1974, then frozen; the third, a bug called Alcaligenes, last tasted agar in 1963.

All the strains flourished when San Miguel exposed them to a range of antibiotics, many still used to battle infections.

Perplexingly, all the bacteria fended off a lethal dose of rifampicin, an antibiotic introduced in 1967,

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antibiotics; bugs; future; health; timetravelling

1 posted on 06/06/2008 8:14:49 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Future-predicting bacteria?

Give me a friggin break. Just because they are resistant to an antibiotic before it's been developed doesn't make the some kind of super time traveling bug. It makes them resistant to a drug.

This is what is wrong with the media, they are so eager to sensationalize everything.

2 posted on 06/06/2008 8:20:26 PM PDT by chaos_5 (Proud to be one of the 10% not rallying around McCain)
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To: blam

(ducking) Maybe they were designed that way...


3 posted on 06/06/2008 8:22:25 PM PDT by The Electrician ("Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase.")
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To: chaos_5

I think the headline was influenced by the new version of the movie “Andromeda Strain”, where the disease was sent by the future to stop a sulfur vent mining project / save the environment.


4 posted on 06/06/2008 8:23:34 PM PDT by tbw2 ("Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell" by Tamara Wilhite - on amazon.com)
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To: blam
You mean it wasn't our antibacterial soap?
5 posted on 06/06/2008 8:24:25 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: blam

If there were no bacteria resistant to a new antibiotic when it is first introduced, then none would survive to become the dominant type.

Populations of any type are diverse.


6 posted on 06/06/2008 8:25:12 PM PDT by js1138
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To: tbw2

I made the mistake of watching that.

As the kids say: It “suktd”.


7 posted on 06/06/2008 8:26:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: tbw2
Agree about the recent release of the remake of the “Andromeda Strain” inspiring this. For those who haven't seen it, avoid it. Stick with the original. The new one got so preachy by the time it painfully ended 4 hours later I didn't care what happened to the main characters. And I liked them in previous roles.
8 posted on 06/06/2008 8:29:19 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: blam

WHAT? You mean dirt is dirty?


9 posted on 06/06/2008 8:42:02 PM PDT by Southerngl
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To: blam

Nah, maybe evolution just isn’t real (macroevolution)..God, The Lord designed them that way..


10 posted on 06/06/2008 8:55:16 PM PDT by JSDude1 (It;s only a protest vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd-pissant)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Happy Ping ;)!


11 posted on 06/06/2008 8:56:14 PM PDT by JSDude1 (It;s only a protest vote if your political worldview is Republican 1st, conservative 2nd-pissant)
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To: blam

This might be why humans don’t eat dirt.


12 posted on 06/06/2008 9:00:19 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: blam
Many antibiotics are based on naturally occurring compounds, for example penicillin. If the bacteria are exposed to the precursors to current antibiotics, they will develop a resistance to anything derived from the precursor. There is no need to invoke time-travel.

It might be wiser to develop an antibiotic that uses the bacterium's own systems against it, or to make it more vulnerable to be body's own defenses

13 posted on 06/06/2008 9:06:32 PM PDT by jmcenanly
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To: chaos_5
Future-predicting bacteria?

Calm down...no one is suggesting the bacteria actually travelled through time it's what we in the business call "hyperbole".

14 posted on 06/06/2008 9:16:32 PM PDT by garbanzo (Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.)
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To: js1138
If there were no bacteria resistant to a new antibiotic when it is first introduced, then none would survive to become the dominant type. Populations of any type are diverse.

Celebrate diversity.
15 posted on 06/06/2008 9:23:44 PM PDT by mkjessup (Romania had the Ceausescus, America has the Clintons.)
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To: blam

Sure, dig it up! Pass it around, handle it. Just couldn’t leave it alone, could we?


16 posted on 06/06/2008 9:29:41 PM PDT by swatbuznik
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To: tbw2
I think the headline was influenced by the new version of the movie “Andromeda Strain”, where the disease was sent by the future to stop a sulfur vent mining project / save the environment.

Wow! I'm glad I gave up on it before it got that far!

17 posted on 06/06/2008 9:30:23 PM PDT by Vroomfondel
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To: blam
There's something wrong here. I have it from

http://www.galtoninstitute.org.uk/Newsletters/GINL0409/Powers_of_Natural_Selection.htm

that ...

A very striking example of rapid directional selection since the Second World War has been selection for resistance to antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides. ‘The Murray Collection is a series of reference strains of harmful bacteria gathered between 1914 and 1950 … Every strain is … susceptible to every one of the dozens of antibiotics used today’. (Jones, 1999).

18 posted on 06/06/2008 10:05:50 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: SunkenCiv

May be of interest. Well I doubt it, but here it is. lol


19 posted on 06/06/2008 10:21:51 PM PDT by KoRn (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
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To: blam

ping


20 posted on 06/06/2008 11:23:30 PM PDT by Bellflower (A Brand New Day Is Coming!)
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To: blam
a company that stocks thousands of strains of frozen bacteria

All over the world, frozen time-traveling bacteria will be waking up because of Global Warming. We need trillion$ in new govt. programs to save the world. /s

21 posted on 06/07/2008 3:28:36 AM PDT by hellbender
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To: blam

What is supposed to be so “earth-shaking” about this discovery??? Most antibiotics are derived from strains of bacteria in the first place, or are modified versions of molecules from same.


22 posted on 06/07/2008 3:51:35 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Really? So all that hype of using anti-bacterial products is just a marketing push? When the old method: plain old soap ad water will do?/Just Asking - seoul62........


23 posted on 06/07/2008 3:56:20 AM PDT by seoul62
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To: seoul62
"Really? So all that hype of using anti-bacterial products is just a marketing push? When the old method: plain old soap ad water will do?"

Pretty much yes. "Plain old soap and water" acts by disrupting the cell wall of the bacteria, so they die. Surfactants (i.e. soap) are a standard method for "lysing" bacteria (lysing is that disruption of the cell wall). I suspect that all the "anti-bacterial" products do is cause the evolution of resistant microbes.

24 posted on 06/07/2008 5:52:01 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: KoRn; neverdem

:’) Thanks KoRn.


25 posted on 06/07/2008 7:25:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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