A TED-Ed Animation Explaining How Bacteria Have Built Up a Resistance to Antibiotics

Educator Kevin Wu and animator Brett Underhill discuss the importance of antibiotics in 20th century health care, and how their overuse has led them to become less effective in the latest animation from TED-Ed. The issue is linked to one of Charles Darwin’s most known concepts.

The problem is not in the antibiotics, but in the bacteria they were made to fight. And the reason lies in Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. Just like any other organisms, bacteria can undergo random mutations. Many of the these mutations are harmful or useless, but every now and then, one comes along that gives its bacteria an edge in survival.