5.2 - D - Antibiotic Resistance
Another example of evolution in the short term can be seen in the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. As with the peppered moth, the life cycle of bacteria is short and so variations can be seen in a shorter amounts of time. Antibiotics are molecules that kill bacteria by interfering with or preventing their life functions.
Due to natural variations, some bacteria develop mutations that allow them to become resistant to the antibiotics. As a result, the non-resistant bacteria will die out over time while the resistant ones survive and reproduce.
So, over time the gene pool of the bacterial population will change and it will become antibiotic resistant overall.
** the diagram to the right shows mechanisms in the cell that are attached
Evolution of Bacteria on a 'Mega-plate' of Antibiotics
The following video was filmed at Harvard Medical School and visually shows how bacteria are able to evolve resistance to enormous amounts of antibiotic in a very short amount of time.
Review Video (TED-Ed)