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In 430 B.C., the plague of Athens killed one-quarter of the Athenian troops that were fighting in the Great Peloponnesian War. The disease killed a quarter of the population of Athens in over 4 years and weakened Athens’ dominance and power. The source of the plague may have been identified recently when researchers from the University of Athens were able to analyze DNA from teeth recovered from a mass grave. The scientists identified nucleotide sequences from a pathogenic bacterium that causes typhoid fever. Papagrigorakis M. J., Synodinos P. N., Yapijakis C, “Ancient typhoid epidemic reveals possible ancestral strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, Infect Genet Evol 7 (2007): 126-7.

From 541 to 750 A.D., an outbreak called the plague of Justinian (likely a bubonic plague) eliminated, by some estimates, one-quarter to one-half of the human population. The population in Europe declined by 50 percent during this outbreak. Bubonic plague would decimate Europe more than once.

One of the most devastating pandemics was the Black Death    (1346 to 1361), which is believed to have been another outbreak of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis . This bacterium is carried by fleas living on black rats. The Black Death reduced the world’s population from an estimated 450 million to about 350 to 375 million. Bubonic plague struck London hard again in the mid-1600s. There are still approximately 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague globally each year. Although contracting bubonic plague before antibiotics meant almost certain death, the bacterium responds to several types of modern antibiotics, and mortality rates from plague are now very low.

Concept in action

Watch a video on the modern understanding of the Black Death (bubonic plague) in Europe during the fourteenth century.

Over the centuries, Europeans developed resistance to many infectious diseases. However, European conquerors brought disease-causing bacteria and viruses with them when they reached the Western hemisphere, triggering epidemics that completely devastated populations of Native Americans (who had no natural resistance to many European diseases).

The antibiotic crisis

The word antibiotic comes from the Greek anti , meaning “against,” and bios , meaning “life.” An antibiotic is an organism-produced chemical that is hostile to the growth of other organisms. Today’s news and media often address concerns about an antibiotic crisis. Are antibiotics that were used to treat bacterial infections easily treatable in the past becoming obsolete? Are there new “superbugs”—bacteria that have evolved to become more resistant to our arsenal of antibiotics? Is this the beginning of the end of antibiotics? All of these questions challenge the healthcare community.

One of the main reasons for resistant bacteria is the overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics, such as not completing a full course of prescribed antibiotics. The incorrect use of an antibiotic results in the natural selection of resistant forms of bacteria. The antibiotic kills most of the infecting bacteria, and therefore only the resistant forms remain. These resistant forms reproduce, resulting in an increase in the proportion of resistant forms over non-resistant ones.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Which of the following is best at showing the life expandency of an individual within a a population
Daniel Reply
perianth is present in which gymnosperms ?
DebaXish Reply
perianth is present in which gymnos4perms ?
DebaXish Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Bi 101 for lbcc ilearn campus. OpenStax CNX. Nov 28, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11593/1.1
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