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  • Writer's pictureEnid Gonzalez-Orta

It's a Tiny World by Anthony N.

Student holding test tube with red solution
Anthony inspects his nitrate reduction results.

The world is filled with mysteries, isn’t it? From long ago, we as humans push the limits and our curiosity by testing through experimental methods and trial and error procedures. When there’s a problem, we dive deep into the problem and figure out a way to alleviate it, it’s practically in our nature. Diseases that once were fatal are now easily remedied thanks to continued research amongst others with the same goal. The creation of antibiotics is a completely different world once we were able to go down to a microscopic level!

Did you know? 99% of bacteria cannot be grown on traditional media? It’s incredibly interesting! From that information, can you visualize how we were able to put so much effort into collecting bacteria and then collecting their DNA in the lab? Millions of bacteria must have been tested to discover antibiotics to battle against the pathogens that were deadly at the time. Our peak year for the creation of antibiotics was during the 1950s - 1960s where we were able to produce one-half of the drugs used today (Davies 2006). An incredible amount of work was put into it, and even founded the American pharmaceutical industry. And this all stemmed from the discovery of penicillin founded in a fungus, an amazing start to our story for medicinal practices. Although with the discovery and use of antibiotics, there were some “drawbacks.”

I say and add quotation marks because those drawbacks would eventually lead to those bacteria becoming resistant to the drugs. Although this may sound uncertain for us as researchers, it would eventually lead to the production of stronger drugs. And to add on, the advancement of technology would lead to new techniques and the development of new instruments assisting with our research into the unknown microscopic world. Just as much as we would like to explore the vastness of space, we continue to explore the small world right in front of our front yard. Discovering new compounds and diving further into already-known bacteria results from years of research and advancement that we are proud of. There is no end to the amount of knowledge for us, and as we continue to delve deeper, I hope you can also gain an interest in adventuring into the tiny world of bacteria.


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