Cell BiologyThe discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin in the 1920s made a big impact on human history. Not only did it provide a cure for bacterial infections that were once deadly, but it also led t

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The discovery of the antibiotic Penicillin in the 1920s made a big impact on human history. Not only did it provide a cure for bacterial infections that were once deadly, but it also led to a golden age in discovery of new antibiotics. The great benefit of these drugs is that antibiotics inhibit the growth of bacterial cells or kill them outright, and yet, on the whole, do not harm eukaryotic cells.

Answer BOTH of the following questions:

  1. Given the following list of antibiotics and their targets, explain how each stops bacteria without harming human cells. Base your analyses on the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
  2. Considering the targets of these antibiotics, explain why antibiotics in general would not be useful for treating a viral infection.

Antibiotic

Target

Penicillin

Blocks cell wall synthesis

Tetracycline

Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 30S Unit of the ribosome

Chloramphenicol

Blocks protein synthesis by binding to the 50S Unit of the ribosome

Sulfonamides

Inhibit folic acid synthesis

Vancomycin

Blocks cross-linking of the peptidoglycan in the cell wall

Read this to enhance your understanding of the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: How do antibiotics kill bacterial cells but not human cells?

See a comparison of bacterial and viral features here: Differences between bacteria and viruses.

Follow these guidelines for your paper:

  • Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page. 
  • Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page. 

References

Mobley, H. (2018). How do antibiotics kill bacterial cells but not human cells? Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-antibiotics-kill-b/

Aryal, S. (2015). Differences between bacteria and viruses. Retrieved from: https://microbiologyinfo.com/differences-between-bacteria-and-viruses/

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