The Right Drug for the Right Bug
Science Rules! with Bill Nye
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What are the side effects of broad spectrum antibiotics? 03:30

Broad spectrum antibiotics are designed to wipe out a wide spectrum of bacteria, so even if we don't know what exactly is causing an illness, these antibiotics are supposed to take care of it, and they do. However, by design, they also decimate your microbial flora. Your microbiome is like your inner ecosystem, which is all the bacteria and microbes that live in and all around the body.


What happens when the two microbes grown next to one another? 05:11

Most of the time, microbes that are grown together are not happy because they are utilizing the same resources. Depending on the nutrients offered, they will compete and even try to kill one another.


Are the microbes making antibiotics? 06:22

Not really. If a microbe were to produce an antibiotic, it would decimate their own environment. Instead of producing antibiotics, microbes are producing a protein called bacteriocin, which caseus pores in the bacteria, thus destroying it.


Am I susceptible to any harmful germs or diseases when letting my pets on my bed? 09:58

No. By living together, you already share your microbiome with your pets. If you’re healthy now, there is no worry.


What’s the worst pathogen you can get from the hospital equipment? 11:42

In this particular case the equipment is being transported outside of the hospital and according to Dr. Peg Riley, most of the bacteria and viruses aren’t going to survive. If you are healthy, your microbiome is what is keeping you healthy, smart, and less depressed.


What is the microbiome difference in vaginal birth vs. c-section? 14:19

When you’re born with a c-section, you don’t gain the benefit of your mother’s microbiome that’s passed on to you from the birthing canal. In a c-section, you’ll have bacteria found in a hospital rather than the bacteria found in your mom.


How does the bacterial warfare work? 20:40

Say you have E. coli in your gut and you ingest some undercooked meat with new E. coli. It will do one of two things. It has to survive in your gut, which it has evolved to do, but also it has to find space in your gut. If there is already E. coli present, it cannot get it, so it produces a bacteriocin to destroy those already present and competing strains.

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