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ecolutionary arms race.docx

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McMaster University
Laura Parker

Evolution - Evolutionary Arms Race - garter snake eats rough skin newt - snake must evolve resistance, newt must evolve better toxin - snakes more resistant to toxin are slower when not poisoned, therefore, comes at a cost - possible that carnivores once pushed our own evolution making us stronger, faster, smarter - when antibiotics stop, resistant bacteria remain and multiply. Low quality drugs and incomplete treatment courses contribute to increased resistance - should people infected with transmissible non-curable diseases be allowed to be in the general population? - because of global travel - all resistant bacteria will eventually reach other areas. Already showing up in North American populations - 2-3 million die each year from TB - dozens of other bacteria are evolving resistance - over ½ of all prescriptions are unnecessary or inappropriate - if close contact is required for transmission then an organism usually is not very harmful because it needs healthy hosts to move around so it can reach its next host. If too dangerous, people are immobile and bacteria must be transmitted some other way (water, insects, food). - poor water supply favored increased toxin in cholera because didn't need healthy hosts. Improved water quality forced
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