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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

R Factor

#antibiotics #medicine #plasmids

Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats

Maryn McKenna

2017

Link

2019-09-30

"The Japanese researcher Tsutomu Watanabe discovered that the bacterium was resistant to both the drug that had been used to treat it, but also a drug it had never received. This made no sense at first. Then Watanabe and his colleagues determined the snippets of genetic code that conferred resistance were not locked inside bacteria, bound to the chromosome so they only passed through inheritance. Genetic material could break free from one bacterium and migrate into another. They dubbed the snippets R-factors (later termed plasmids).

- Maryn McKenna, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats (2017)