Twisted tree of life award: throwback PR from an ingrained Oregon State

Just got pointed to this PR:  Unwanted impact of antibiotics broader, more complex than previously known — ScienceDaily

It has one of the worst microbe-evolution sections of text I have seen in a long long time:

Mitochondria plays a major role in cell signaling, growth and energy production, and for good health they need to function properly. 

But the relationship of antibiotics to mitochondria may go back a long way. In evolution, mitochondria descended from bacteria, which were some of the earliest life forms, and different bacteria competed with each other for survival. That an antibiotic would still selectively attack the portion of a cell that most closely resembles bacteria may be a throwback to that ingrained sense of competition and the very evolution of life.

Yup.  That antibiotics that target bacteria also affect mitochondria is a throwback to that ingrained sense of competition and the very evolution of life. 

Can anyone – anyone – please – please – tell me what that means?

For this, I am giving the folks from Oregon State a coveted Twisted Tree of Life Award.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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