A new class of antibiotics? Don’t hold your breath.

Science reporting of new advances often pisses me the fuck off.  Take this for example.

Sounds great, right?  Of course it does!  It’s a fucking miracle antibiotic because it doesn’t trigger resistance.  Too bad it’s pure shit.

This isn’t the first time we have thought we could outsmart simple evolutionary processes and it won’t be the last (Carl Zimmer’s book Microcosm covers one or two of these false hopes if I remember correctly – it was an amazing book by the way).  The problem is that a single-celled organism is a very complex beast that has numerous ways of getting around nearly every problem it can come across because this organism doesn’t act as an individual.  Evolution works though populations, and an entire population of bacteria can arise from a single individual cell.  All it takes is one (what I term the Highlander Cell); this poses a serious public health issue.

These bacteria are crafty little buggers and every single year we learn more interesting things they do to survive and thrive in the face of even the most extreme environmental insults.  All we can do is attempt to slow their progress though an intelligent use of our current arsenal of weapons while continually developing new ones.  Current antibiotic resistance issues arise mainly because we use the few weapons we have in a very haphazard manner, and articles such as this one will do nothing to better educate the public to respect their single-celled invaders and urge those in charge of public health to act in the best interest of the public.  Instead, I see this therapy going the exact way every other antibiotic has gone in the past; it works great at first, but it is a false sense of security that will then lead to its overuse and eventual resistance.

I know I’m looking at the glass as half empty, but what else do you expect when ALL the glasses you’ve seen have been half empty?


1 Comment

Filed under Biology and Evolution, just sad, news, sleep deprived, Those Other Sciences

One response to “A new class of antibiotics? Don’t hold your breath.

  1. Yeah, but damn will it sell like crazy! Amoxycillin? Psssh. Give me Miraclicin.

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