When Good Discoveries Go Bad: Antibiotics
Bacteria are a type of prokaryote that are absolutely everywhere in the world, from dirt to food, and even inside other living creatures. In the past 60 years, scientists have developed some incredible drugs, called antibiotics, to fight bacterial infections. These drugs have saved millions of lives.
There is, however, a downside to the development of antibiotics, their overuse. Since the late 1970s, antibiotics have been prescribed more and more, and for less and less serious infections, which has led to many bacteria developing a resistance to these drugs. When this happens, bacteria very quickly lose their vulnerability to these antibiotics, leaving humans once again susceptible to infection.
For this reason, many people think that the over prescription of antibiotics by doctors and their addition in products like antibacterial soaps and kitchen wipes, have led to the evolution of “superbugs” that cannot be killed by normal antibiotics. Others take a different view, believing that antibiotics are chemicals like any other, and they should be allowed to be prescribed at-will and included in household products.