Tiny jumping genes fingered as culprit in rise of antibiotic resistance: Activity levels of transposons provide the handle needed for selection to spread antibiotic resistance from wild microbes to human pathogens

Biomedical engineers believe they have discovered the physical mechanism that causes high doses of antibiotics to promote the spread of antibiotic resistance between bacteria. The culprit, they say, is an overabundance of ‘jumping genes,’ called transposons, that carry the genetic instructions for resistance from the cell’s source code to plasmids that shuttle between cells.

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