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DOUBLE TROUBLE.

FIND OUT HOW FAST BACTERIA CAN MULTIPLY.

1. Given enough food, water, the right temperatures, and ample living space, some bacterial populations will double in size every 20 minutes. If you start out with 1 million bacteria in an infected body, how many bacteria will there be at the end of three hours? The diagram below may help you figure out your answer.

2. Graph your results.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

3. If one in a million bacteria develops mutations to make it resistant to an antibiotic, how many of the above bacteria might have developed such mutations?--

4. If all of those mutations occurred during the first 20 minutes (the first doubling of the bacterial population), how many resistant microbes would there be at the end of three hours?--

5. If you gave an infected person an antibiotic (the one the mutant strains are resistant to), how would the antibiotic help resistant strains thrive?--

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
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Publication:Science World
Date:Feb 22, 1999
Words:155
Previous Article:Science in the News Quiz.
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