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Harnessing evolutionary forces to develop more effective methods for treating superbugs

Bacteria don't just develop a resistance to drugs; rather the process of natural selection combined with the microbes' ability to rapidly multiply result in the creation of so-call "superbugs," such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

In the above TEDMED 2012 talk, Andrew Read, PhD, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University, explains how widespread use of antibiotics has contributed to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and how better understanding natural selection could help health-care providers fight back. During the talk, Read argues that the logic of natural selection has profound implications for public health, and he advocates for the development of medical practices and products that won't be rapidly undermined by evolving pathogens.

Previously: Norway's strategy for fighting drug-resistant bacteria and Slate takes on the battle against bacteria

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