Period 8 Biomedical Research

'Evolutionary Theory is such a Dangerously WONDERFUL AND FAR-REACHING view of life that sime people find it unacceptable, despite the vasy body of supporting evidence'



Part2:Microbial Illnesses

National Geographic Article

Today, there is seemingly no research that's more urgent today than that of the studies of microbial diseases. The 'dynamics' of those microbes can only be understood through the terms of evolution. "The capacity for quick change among disease-causing microbes is what makes them so dangerous to large numbers of people and so difficult and expensive to treat.''
These disease, such as AIDS, SARS and Ebola, spread directly from person to person. Diseases such as Malaria and West Nile Fever are transferred to humans by way of bites from insects. These diseases "leap from wildlife or domestic animans into humans, asapting to new circumstances as they go. Their inherent variability allows them to find new ways of evading and defeating human immune systems."
Basically, through means of natural selection, these diseases acquire a resistance to the drugs that should help treat or kill them off because they go through a process of evolving. "There's no better or more immediate evidence supporting the Darwinian Theory than this process of forced transformation among out inimical germs.''
The antibiotic-resistant strains of these diseases represent an 'evolutionary series' that are not much different in principle from the fossil series that traces horses evolution from the Hyracotherium toEquus.

All in all, these disease are developed as representation of evolution with how they evolve and adapt through time to the different hosts they occupy and different environments. just like our immune system does with things like the common cold, they become immune to certain drugs over time.

Darwins Theory

This website article discusses that of the ideas of evolution in the studies of plants and animals. This can easily be related to the idea of microbial diseases because they're living bacterium that evolve just like any other living organism. Darwin's theory of evolution put simply, is the idea that everything is related in some way or another through the process of evolving. "In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival." That process is what we call natural selection. Over the course of time, these mutations within these organisims accumulate and the result eventually becomes not only a wide variant from the origional simplistic organism, but a completely different organism.

Evolution In Life ;Evolution of Parasite Virulence

''Chance genetic mutations are random modifications of hereditary transmissions, causes descendants to differ somewhat from their ancestors, that is, morphologically, in form and structure, and physiologically, functions and vital processes. These changes in the genetic material at the DNA level are mostly neutral or harmful in their effects. Improving changes are very rare"(article 1). Most of hte time, harmful mutations are eliminated by way of natural selection, but with things like diseases, the harmful mutations to us, are beneficial to the disease that's adapting to your body. For example, Mosquitoes have adapted over time to become what reasearchers like to call 'super mosquitoes' because they have evolved to be immune to the many harmful chemicals created to kill them off.
"When it comes to microbial evolution, an ecological niche often takes the form of a host. If the microbe is a pathogen, its presence might trigger strong selective pressure from the host's immune system, precipitating an evolutionary two-step between microbe and host. Hosts with strong immune defenses can typically tolerate relatively virulent pests: conversely, ill-defended hosts die, which is bad news for the parasite" (article 2). These parasitic transfered diseases are usually transferred from insects to humans or insects to other animals. diseases such as malaria and West Nile Fever are being carried by mosquitoes which makes it an even more urgent matter to resolve for the safety of the human population. Microbial diseases don't just affect people by means of human to human like AIDS and SARS. Researchers are working their hardest to make these drugs that fight off these things stronger. Although there are not cures for the diseases themselves, with diseases carried by insects, we can defeat the insect population first so it has a less chance of reaching the human population.


Part 3: Treatment of Penicillin-Resistant Staph Infections(Marshall's section)

2 National Geographic Ideas

"The biologist Stephen Palumbi has calculated the cost ot treating penicillin-resistant staph infections, just in the United States, at 30 billion dollars a year"(page 2). Diseases have evolved rapidly and have built strong defenses against our medecines. Only our newest and most hight tech medecines continue to work against diseases like HIV. The problem is that the newer and more modern our drugs become the higher their price tag.

Insects and weeds also adapt similarily to viruses and diseases. Through natural selection insects and weeds develop immunities to poisons when the weak non immune organisms die off. Afterwards only the strong and immune bugs are left to reproduce with one another. DDT, a powerful bug poison, somehow managed to develop immune flies within a decade of its creation.

Outside Source

"If you've become resistant to fluconazole, your GP will seek specialist advice before prescribing itraconazole. Becoming resistant means that a medicine no longer works effectively, because the bacteria or viruses causing an infection have become immune to the medicine." The HIV virus adapts very quickly to medecines in order to avoid this in most cases patients will be required to take a drug cocktail. A drug cocktail is multiple drugs being taken at once to avoid the disease being able to adapt to the drugs. Doing this has greatly reduced the number of HIV related deaths.

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