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Superbugs and Natural Selection:
Letter to the Editor

bacteriabacillus.jpg (14871 bytes)Rick Strongitham questioned whether superbugs are an example of natural selection (Letter, Toronto Star, September 13.) In evolution by natural selection, the individuals who can cope with the environment survive, while the ones who cannot die. The ones who survive reproduce, leading to a population of individuals with the survival characteristics. For superbugs, humans killed the bacteria that were not resistant to antibiotics. The resistant bacteria survived and reproduced. Humans caused the unnatural environment by introducing antibiotics into the bacteria's environment. However, since the conditions in the bacteria's environment select which bacteria survive, this is an example of evolution by natural selection.

September, 1999

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Last Updated Monday, August 27, 2007 00:33 -0400

Suzanne P. Currie 1999 sciencelives@hotmail.com