• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The use of antibiotics has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


"The use of antibiotics has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss." In 1928 Alexander Fleming after coming home from holiday found (whilst sorting out glass plates with the bacteria staphylococcus) that one of the plates had a blue/green mould on it. It had a clear ring around it where the bacteria had been dissolved. The mould was penicillium notatum. Fleming after some research came to conclusion that a substance coming from the mould must have killed the bacteria, an antibiotic. The discovery was not noticed at the time, as it was extremely hard to isolate the penicillin but it's potential was there. Just as the Second World War had started two Oxford scientists managed to isolate and purify the penicillin in a new interest in the field of anti-bacterial drugs, this was because of the up and coming war. A programme in the USA saw the mass production and distribution of the drug it was known as the "wonder" drug amongst soldiers. ...read more.


Antibiotics such as penicillin, methicillin and flucloxacillin either compete for the same substrate therefore reducing the number of e-s complexes or break the hydrogen bonds of the enzyme's tertiary structure. Which will in turn deform the shape of the active site meaning it will not fit the substrate, leading to no e-s complexes being formed. When this happens the enzyme is said to be "de-natured" and this cannot be reversed. Even though antibiotics can be very effective in destroying bacteria, and the war against bacteria seemed to have been won they found in the 1960s that the bacteria were finding a way to fight back. A topic that has caused a lot of controversy and panic is the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. As Clegg describes in his Introduction to Advanced Biology there are two ways in which bacteria can resist antibiotic effects. The first to look at is the spontaneous mutation of a gene that gives the offspring new abilities in fighting back against antibiotics. ...read more.


This disadvantage of resistance to antibiotics causes a lot of worry in the scientific, political and public community. Although the resistance of antibiotics causes a lot of worry and controversy over the use of antibiotics, an argument of advantages to the use can put be forward through the successful treatment of chemotherapy. This process goes beyond the efforts of natural and artificial methods of destroying disease-causing microorganisms. Which the body's defence mechanism can be avoided by. It is the administration of chemical substances, natural or synthetic than kill/prevent reproduction of microorganisms by the inhibition of dividing malignant cells in cancer. These substances are classed as antibiotics as some of the substances are secreted by microorganisms and are selectively toxic to other microorganisms. Although these chemotherapeutic agents have had an enormous influence in controlling disease they have a major disadvantage. Every time a new one is used, resistant strains arise so further drugs have to be developed and produced. These new drugs should be used with restraint and discrimination according to Roberts, Reiss and Monger's Chemotherapy and antibiotics section of their Biology Principles and Processes textbook. Cary Aston ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Should homeopathy be available on the NHS?

    Aside from this, there is a high percentage of results that have concluded in statistically non-conclusive. However, this is only true for the control group, using a placebo. For the control group which uses a medical device other than the placebo this is not the case.

  2. Cost effectiveness of mainstream bench cleaners against generic supermarket cleaners on the number of ...

    Campylobacter jejuni is a species of curved, rod-shaped, non-spore forming, Gram-negative microaerophilic, bacteria commonly found in animal faeces. It is one of the most common causes of human food poisoning in the world but is rarely life threatening. It has been linked with subsequent development of Guillain-Barr´┐Ż syndrome (GBS), which usually develops two to three weeks after the initial illness.

  1. Fertilisers, Discuss;

    6Inorganic fertilisers do not just feed the plant. It can also feed the soil microbes in addition to the crop/plant in question. The ammonium in the fertilisers created chemically can be a hazard to some of the soil's micro life, for instance earthworms.

  2. Compare and contrast a motor nuerone and a bacterium

    They resemble wires, and it is these wire-like structures whose function it is to carry the signals (nerve impulses) from the central nervous system to effector organs - for example, the muscles and glands within the body that respond to stimulus.

  1. Growing Micro-organisms

    * Nutrients/Food: - This is one of the most important things needed in this experiment and it is very essential, the nutrients is basically the food for the yeast population to help them grow, obviously without the nutrients the yeast cells would die, but also with too much nutrients the

  2. Enzymes and Micro-organisms

    It's really good if you want to make small quantities of microorganisms. Culture media can also be either complex or synthetic. Complexe media is a media that's made of some unknown ingredients of chemical composition. This type of media is really good for growing wide ranges of microorganisms.

  1. Before resistance to antibiotics was noticed, the use of antibiotics had to become wide ...

    Sulphonamides are only active against Gram-positive bacteria, but have been used successfully to treat pneumonia, osteomyelitis, furuncle, carbuncle and puerperal infections. Another important class of antibiotic chemicals are the quinolones. The first quinolone drug produced within the USA was nalidixic acid, followed by piromidic acid and pipemidic acid.

  2. Antibiotics and Penicillin.

    Penicillium chrysogenum if given in small amounts of all of the nutrients necessary for growth, will mostly just grow and will produce only small amounts of penicillin. Penicillin production by this fungus provides a nice advantage if the fungus is competing with bacteria for limited food available.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work