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People cook food all the time, why don't common bacteria adapt to extreme heat? It's winter in either hemisphere every year, why don't common bacteria adapt to extreme cold? People use soap or spray cleaners, why don't bacteria adapt to those chemicals?

Why is it specifically only antibiotics that bacteria adapt to so quickly?

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide a source for this claim? Because we have bacteria living at extreme temperatures and even in the detergents of NASA clean rooms. I don't see the point of your question. $\endgroup$ – Frieke Feb 2 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Usually you don't cite common knowledge. By this point it's common knowledge that A: different bacteria have grown a resistance to antibiotics in a matter of years, unless every news outlet and every university in the world is somehow lying for no reason, B: The first known life was as such for hundreds of millions of years and therefore couldn't have possessed other adaptions except over only a much longer time. Ergo it is a very basic, common-sense deduction that adaptions to antibiotics happened much faster than adaptions to extreme temperatures and extreme pH imbalances. $\endgroup$ – Vane Voe Feb 3 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ You claim, that bacteria don't adapt to extreme high or low temperatures or detergents - but they do. $\endgroup$ – Frieke Feb 3 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ Yet another shameless strawman, now you're reported for trolling. Nowhere did I say they don't, I only said it has taken longer based on very basic common sense knowledge. I'm guessing you believe the Earth is flat too? $\endgroup$ – Vane Voe Feb 3 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ "why don't common bacteria adapt to extreme heat/cold?", "why don't bacteria adapt to those chemicals?" - sorry, I was taking your questions literally.. $\endgroup$ – Frieke Feb 3 at 9:45
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Antibiotics usually target a single protein (most commonly components of the ribosome machinery). If you have a large population of bacteria, there are bound to be cells with mutations in the gene encoding for the target of the antibiotic that render the antibiotic ineffective. Microbes also have drug efflux systems that can help with resistance to antibiotics. Temperature on the other hand has broad lethal effects from disrupting the cell membrane to damaging DNA and affecting the reaction rates of vital enzymes so that it's impossible to adapt in such a short time by gaining a few mutations.

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