– Science News (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/339907/title/Underground_resistance <—-link to article.) What an amazing picture! This article from the current issue of Science News explains the seemingly unlikely occurrence that bacteria living in isolated caves would evolve with resistance to man-made antibiotics. This type of article would be useful in demonstrating the subtleties of evolution that are often misunderstood and as a way to emphasize the differences between bacterial modes of living and organismal modes of living. For example, comparing and contrasting the rate of bacterial reproduction with organismal reproduction to understand how bacteria can quickly become better adapted to their environment, or to extreem environments.
Another aspect this article could be used to address is a frequent misunderstanding that I think is perpetuated in general public discussions of evolution, which is that bacteria are “less evolved” and humans are “more evolved,” this article provides a prime opportunity to address this common misconception. My intention (or hope?) is that the vivid imagery and the “puzzle” behind how isolated cave bacteria could have evolved in manner that would suggest they had been engaged in coevolution with man-made antibiotics will lure students in and allow them the opportunity to formulate their own ideas, utilizing previous knowledge, about how/why this antibiotic resistance may have occurred.