This is quite extraordinary. Researchers studying bacteria locked away in 30,000-year-old permafrost exhibited evidence of genes encoding resistance to a variety of antibiotics. Thus, the authors propose that antibiotic resistance is an ancient, natural phenomenon "that predates the modern selective pressure of clinical antibiotic use."
9 plus ones
Shared publicly•View activity
View 9 previous comments
- I'll keep with my line that such compelling, solid evidence of the prevalence, complexity and diversity of this resistance, which occurred so long ago is pretty cool. It is also nice to better-understand the time frames of resistance for evolutionary purposes, no? Previous evidence of various time frames for resistance genes were unreliable and/or not reproducible. I understand the point, but still find it interesting and a fun diversion, since I read about brains all day. Thanks.Aug 31, 2011
- No denying that better understanding the evolution of microbial defenses is cool. Science high fives all around. (That's how MRSA spreads around)Aug 31, 2011
- "Which, really, shouldn't be a surprise to anyone."Aug 31, 2011
- Ed Yong+3This is an odd conversation. On the one hand, I and others clearly believe that it should have been obvious that antibiotic resistance is ancient, given that antibiotics are ancient. On the other hand, recovering 30k-yr-old resistance genes from Alaskan permafrost and demonstrating that such ancient genes exist is absolutely extraordinary.
These two concepts are not mutually exclusive.Aug 31, 2011
- I agree this is an odd conversation, but I think the subject matter quite fascinating. It is always amazing to read of discoveries, especially when they HAVE been assumed or predicted. Finding that proof makes it even more fascinating, widening the picture of science!Aug 31, 2011
- I'm glad we all agree that intuition and the obvious still need to be proven by data and that this is an interesting study. The end.Aug 31, 2011