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Bacteria in balance

Seven decades after penicillin revolutionized the treatment of infections by killing bacteria, medicine is poised for another revolution.

The central idea: Many bacteria, rather than creating disease, actually protect against it. So, rather than indiscriminately killing all bacteria, a growing number of researchers say we should be taking an ecological approach ā€” by supporting good bacteria, either in addition to, or instead of destroying the bad.

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Comments (1)

  1. Have we gone too far with disinfecting, sanitizing and sterilizing? I grew up in the 70's-80's and we cleaned with oldfashioned soap and water. There were no handsoaps or gels to cleanse our hands. And, I was a healthy child and did not have any childhood diseases except chicken pox which then, was a right of passage in childhood. I have a neighbor who thinks she can disinfect her house by scrubbing with bleach and other disinfectants. I've tried to explain the "good vs bad' bacteria and the fact that it is actually detrimental to the 'good' bacteria to blindly disinfect. Yes, we definitely need to disinfect in the obvious places such as hospitals and laboratories. But, in our homes, do we really need to wage the war that could end up hurting everyone?

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