Science published a paper that's pretty amazing. Bugs on Screen: "Scientists film bacteria’s maneuvers as they become impervious to drugs".
A time-lapsed video reveals how bacteria develop resistance to increasingly higher doses of antibiotics in a matter of days.
In a creative stroke inspired by Hollywood wizardry, scientists from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have designed a simple way to observe how bacteria move as they become impervious to drugs.
The experiments, described in the Sept. 9 issue of Science, are thought to provide the first large-scale glimpse of the maneuvers of bacteria as they encounter increasingly higher doses of antibiotics and adapt to survive—and thrive—in them.
And, an obligatory movie connection:
Senior study investigator Roy Kishony, of HMS and Technion, had seen a digital billboard advertising the 2011 film Contagion, a grim narrative about a deadly viral pandemic. The marketing tool was built using a giant lab dish to show hordes of painted, glowing microbes creeping slowly across a dark backdrop to spell out the title of the movie.
“This project was fun and joyful throughout,” Kishony said. “Seeing the bacteria spread for the first time was a thrill. Our MEGA-plate takes complex, often obscure, concepts in evolution, such as mutation selection, lineages, parallel evolution and clonal interference, and provides a visual seeing-is-believing demonstration of these otherwise vague ideas. It’s also a powerful illustration of how easy it is for bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.”