In the News (from National Science Foundation): “Drug resistant bacteria are a problem in many environments, especially healthcare institutions. While the ways in which these cells become resistant are understood at the cellular level, until now, the bacteria’s survival strategies at the population level remained unclear.
“A new study by James Collins and colleagues at Boston University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University reveals that a surprisingly small percentage of bacteria actually become highly resistant ‘supermutants.’ In fact, most of the bacteria in their study survived without being resistant to the effective dose of antibiotics in the environment. That is, the individual types of bacteria were not as resistant to the antibiotics as the entire population was. …
“Further experiments revealed that, in addition to being drug resistant, the rare supermutants produced high levels of indole, a signaling molecule produced by healthy bacteria. Indole can also promote survival in harsh environments. When bacteria experience antibiotic stress, the dead and dying cells stop producing indole, which likely contributes to further cell death. By overproducing the chemical, supermutants can protect the more vulnerable bacteria by making enough to support a larger population of cells.
“However, this indole production is costly for the supermutants, who grow more slowly than mutants that do not produce it. ‘This altruistic behavior supports a growing body of evidence that suggests single-celled organisms act as communities. We think study of these population-level behaviors will provide important new understanding of evolution dynamics,’ Collins explained.
“These results confirm observations made by health practitioners everywhere: treatment of drug-resistant bacterial infections is more complicated and challenging than anyone thought. According to Collins, ‘Bacterial communities have an extensive arsenal of techniques to deal with antibiotic assault. By understanding the various strategies they use to survive, we may be able to develop more effective medical treatments.’”
My Comment: Nothing will help people against diseases; they are all the result of our separation. Until we start acting as bacteria, together, we will not overcome them. And it is so in our world with everything. Unity at every level is the trend of development of all the parts of nature, and if we do not agree with it, we lose in all the areas of our lives. Antibiotics will not help! To help our health, we need to become more united than bacteria. After all, any manifestation of evil is intended to help us rise above ourselves.