Evolution in Action

By Anthony | November 15th, 2005 | 2:07 pm

Aetiology has a real world example of how evolutionary theory is being used in medical research into bacterial resistance to antibiotics:

Peptide antibiotics have not yet been used clinically to treat human infections, but imagine if they had gone into widespread use without a thought given to the evolution of resistance to these peptides. Imagine if they had gone into widespread use prior to an investigation of the relatedness of various peptides to those produced by humans. Imagine if, as a result of not considering these implications, we had lost an ancient protection against bacteria—-which *evolved* over millions of years of host-pathogen interaction–due to a mere advancement in biotechnology.

It’s a great article, and it demonstrates one reason why it’s so important for scientists to understand evolutionary concepts. Disease and infection affect all of us at some point. Our knowledge – or lack of knowledge – about evolution can have a profound influence on the effectiveness of any treatments we create.

Comments are closed.