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To the Editor:—
The article in the Dec. 3, 1960, issue of The Journal, entitled "Oral History: Living Moments of Modern Medicine," page 1884, has unfortunately ignored the deeper microbial events of the mid-twentieth century that have followed antibiotic therapy. The modern physician and medical biologist must now have a basic academic knowledge of the macro- and micro-evolution of life, from the microbe to man, over billions of years if "modern medicine" is to benefit from antibiotics. The slow, natural micro-evolutionary changes that have been going on since life began were altered by man when single antibiotics were used extensively for the treatment of infectious diseases. Therefore, the benefits derived from topical application of appropriate combinations of antibiotics for the treatment of infectious diseases and the prevention of resistant or mutating bacterial strains cannot be ignored.Since death, by cancer or man-made bacterial resistant organisms, is caused by cellular mutation,
Grace EJ. Modern Medicine. JAMA. 1961;175(12):1111. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120073027