Scientists Find Million-Year-Old Superbug In New Mexican Cave
Geege Schuman stashed this in Biology
Oh good, an unseen threat. Perhaps we can learn from it.
Bacteria are way smarter than we give them credit for.
No, I'm not talking about "brain smarts." Bacteria don't have neurons.
I'm referring to "chemical smarts": the ability to make, break down or gobble up whatever compound they want. Even if they've never been exposed to it before.
Scientists have found a superbug — hidden 1,000 feet underground in a cave — which is resistant to 70 percent of antibiotics and can totally inactivate many of them.
But here's the kicker. This bacterium has been isolated from people, society — and drugs — for 4 million years, scientists report Thursday in the journal Nature Communications.
Today I learned...
"About 99.9 percent of all the antibiotics that we use come from microorganisms, from bacteria and fungi," Barton says. "They are constantly lobbing these chemical missiles at each other. And so if you're going to live in that environment you have to have a good defense." The goal of all this lobbing is survival: There are very few nutrients in the cave. So the microorganisms are constantly trying to kill each other and take each others' food.
Read more: http://nature.com/articles/ncomms13803