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With an emphasis on the helpful and often crucial functions that microorganisms perform, this article addresses why antibiotic resistance in microbes has increased and what can be done to reduce this problem. The author describes an array of arenas in which microbes play significant, positive roles, from nutrient recycling to wastewater treatment to human digestion. Hospital waste, farming, and antibacterial home products are among the noted sources of antibiotics in the environment. There is also a discussion of how resistance spreads in microbes. Below the article are sections of links to additional resources. Educators are provided with a link to a lesson connected to this article and links to other activities and teaching materials. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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