Chess with bacteria
Both infection and cancer are evolutionary diseases where any therapy that falls short of a complete cure exerts evolutionary pressure, driving development of resistance mechanisms. We begin to understand that, like in a game of chess, treating such conditions requires not only a good first move (i.e. administering the right drug), but also anticipating the reaction this and all subsequent interventions might provoke. To facilitate such strategies, the recent study by Lukačišinová and colleagues tracked the evolution of bacteria in response to antibiotics and identified genes that, when lost, diminish the extent of resistance and/or the rate at which it is developed.
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