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The Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections
Antibiotic resistance is the type of drug resistance whereby the involved microorganism or bacteria genetically evolves to be able to resist the particular antibiotic introduced. This way that specific antibiotic cannot eliminate it so a new one has to be developed.
In medicine, it is said that antibiotic resistance occurs either due to misuse or due to abuse of antibiotics (Hawkey & Jones pg 10). In most countries, antibiotics are sold with no doctor’s prescription, mostly because everyone wants the source of income, or the physicians themselves just prescribe them, as they do not want to take time explaining about other drugs or the right mannerisms to take antibiotics. On usage, this leads to formation of resistant strains by the microorganism. Therefore, if the same drug i.e. antibiotic is introduced to the same bacteria on a later day it is ineffective. Assumptions and/or lack of knowledge by patients is also another medical course e.g. most people think that antibiotics are effective for the common cold whereas antibiotics are completely useless against viral infections (McNulty, Boyle, Nichols, Clappison, Davey, pg 63-68). Under usage of prescribed antibiotics is also a common reason for the rise of antibiotic resistance. This happens if a patient was under dosage then in the course of medication, he/she felt better thus stopped taking the medicine. This decreases the concentration of the antibiotic in the body tissues thus increasing the chances of the organism becoming resistant to those antibacteria.
Another reason that leads to resistance is the addition of antibiotics especially to livestock feed. These may affect the products i.e. meat, eggs and milk. The resistant bacteria in the animals could then be transmitted to humans through consumption of the products. However, in the case of meat, complete cooking inactivates all bacteria. Though not classified as a major reason, the use of antibacterial in products as soaps is discouraged. Practice of industrial manufacture of pharmaceuticals that is not licensed may also lead to strain formation of antibiotic resistance i.e. if certain steps in the process are skipped.
Natural reasons also lead to the rise of these antibiotic-resistant infections. In this case, the genes that pass on the resistivity are called the environmental resistomes (Wright pg 589-594). This happens due to natural genetical mutation of microorganisms. Just like any other living organism, an encounter with a substance that decreases the survival chances triggers it to try to find a way to oppose its elimination. This way the species slowly mutates and in time, it takes effect such that the organism grows to be resistant of that particular antibiotic.
Bacteria adapts to its environment in various ways among which are discussed. First, it may be in a method called inherent resistance or natural resistance. This means that the bacterium becomes resistant to the anti bacterial agent e.g., how the gram-negative bacteria are mostly resistant to penicillin. It is because they have an outer membrane that makes it hard or impossible for the antibiotics introduced, in this case penicillin, to penetrate. Therefore, alteration of the bacteria’s membrane causes it to be antibiotic resistant.
Secondly, it may be through adaptive/acquired resistance. As mentioned earlier, this adaptation is due to a change in the genetic composition of the particular bacteria which happens as a response to pressure brought about by the antibacterial agent and once the alteration is successful in that bacteria it is passed on to the subsequent generations of the species.
In addition, bacteria also adapt to environmental conditions such as pH, temperature variations, nature of the surrounding it is present in etc. An example is the Vibrio parahaemolyticus whose habitat was that of a watery environment but due to environmental variations adapted to movement in more solid surfaces through the formation of swarmer cells.
Several steps have been undertaken to reduce the rapidly increasing resistance to antibacterial agents like the insistence of hygiene by individuals and mostly in hospitals where patients are vulnerable to infection i.e. cleanliness in wards, full time use of gloves and other protective gear by the staff. Testing rooms and laboratories have also been moved further away from the patient’s area to prevent contamination. Rules have also been implemented to doctors, pharmacists and physicians that prohibit them from wrong prescriptions especially of antibiotics and the related medications. This decreases the rate of adaptation by the related microorganisms. Organizations and movements are being started that are teaching people and imposing knowledge about usage of antibiotics and the risks foreseen in the medical sector if abuse of antibiotics persists. Therefore, as far as self-discipline goes, it is upon the individual to know that it is important to follow instructions given by the doctors on prescription and avoid under dosage and over dosage. Scientific research is also underway trying to find better and more advanced antibiotics that microorganisms will not be able to resist. Prevention of diseases also by addition of cytokines in place of antibiotics in animal feeds is also a measure being undertaken. Since these proteins are made in the animal’s body by natural effect, they do not contribute to the antibiotic resistance especially after a disease.
Hawkey, Peter M. and Jones, Annie M., The changing epidemiology of resistance: The
Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy Oxford Publishers, 2009. Print
McNulty, Cliodna A., Boyle, Paul., Nichols, Tom., Clappison, Peter., Davey, Peter. The public’s
Attitudes to and compliance with antibiotics: Journal of Antimicrob Chemother Oxford
Publishers, 2007. Print
Wright, Gerard D. Antibiotic Resistance in the environment: a link to the clinic? Current
Opinion in Microbiology Oxford Publishers, 2010. Print
The Rise And Fall Of The Bauhaus
“Mechanized work is lifeless, proper only to the lifeless machine… The solution depends on a change in the individual’s attitude toward his work, not on the betterment of his outward circumstances.” (Gropius)Walter Gropius changed art and architecture forever the first day in April of the year 1919. (01) This was the time in which he felt an obligation to converge both the arts and crafts with the new industrial methods. He accomplished this when he took over the Art Academy in Weimer Germany established by the Grand Duke of Sachsen-Weimar. (02) During the next fourteen years, the school saw two more directors that may have had different ideals, but still maintained the original goals of the Bauhaus. (04) Its foundation was the first to achieve man’s effort to come to terms with technology and art. Though it may have been short lived, the Bauhaus did more than any other organization in the 19th and 20th centuries to reconcile man and his man-made environment.
In Germany during post World War I there were many disputes as to what was to be done in art and architecture. The theories were on the extreme sides of the spectrum, where on the one side were people who could not understand that the pre-war world was dead; on the other side they were determined to learn from the catastrophe. For these people the Bauhaus was a means to greatness, while the traditionalists were disgusted at its very existence. In Germany, and the rest of Europe for that matter, they were confident in their pursuit of the Exprssionism style during the early 20th century. Essentially, this was Romanticism, which is the experimentation of the artists expressing their individual views.
At the beginning of October 1907 a hundred architects, designers, factory owners, and friends of art met in Munich. Together they founded the ‘Deutscher Werkbund’. Its aim was to improve the form and quality of utility wares. Werkbund had partly got its influences from the English movement of Arts and Crafts. It was, however, more open to machine production; but at the same time it had almost a missionary character. The openness to the industrialized society still was one of the mainstays of Werkbund’s success. Nevertheless, there was no real breakthrough before World War I. Deutsches Werkbund arranged a large fair in Cologne in 1914. Instead of new ideas there were many variants of old solutions.
After World War I industrial art was no longer an individualistic phenomenon. Goals for the activities were set collectively inside industrial art and at the same time there was an endeavor to give new arguments for the necessity of a change. Naturally, the opposing forces had also been strengthened by the upheavals caused by the First World War. On the other hand, quite unpredicted forces were turned free. Thus the twenties were full of contrasts, both fruitful and destructive. The move from abundance to poverty, especially in the subdued Germany struggling with great economic problems, created a new kind of consciousness. To begin with, it appeared in the late expressionistic emotional manifestations and before long also in a formal simplicity. Bauhaus was a reaction to these social changes. Social starting points and new esthetic goals were not easy to combine with the new human being. The result was sometimes a Puritanism that emphasized orthagonal qualities. On the othe!
r hand, smooth, tensely stretched or softly flowing forms could be combined with brilliant, pure colors. After the mid-1920s a certain hygienic freshness also filled the furnished rooms, and all kinds of abundance had to step aside. No wonder that the shining tubular steel was implemented as a furniture material. The education of art proper and applied arts had to be reformed. One must have the courage to tackle the problems of technicality and machination. By the mid-1920s Gropius had defined more exactly the starting points of modern design and its doctrines. Thus the Bauhaus curriculum combined theoretical education (a primary course and compositional theory) and practical training in the educational workshops. As teachers, Bauhaus Masters, Gropius engaged among others Lyonel Feininger, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, Oscar Schlemmer, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. In each class Gropius assigned two teachers per class, one artist and one master craftsman. This decision was to enhance the student’s knowledge in both respects of art and technology. Although later it was not necessary, for one teacher was master of both fields upon completion of this new education style.
There were key points that stayed with the Bauhaus throughout its history. Initiated by Gropius but not contradicted by his predecessors. First, the students must understand that they should be intimately involved with mass production and industrialization, and not with individual craftsmanship. Then, the professor in the school of design must be masters of their profession, rather than just academically sound. Next, the design school should bring together all of the various arts as one. For instance, painting, architecture, theatre, photography, weaving, typography, etc., should be learned as one whole, disregarding the distinction between the fine and applied arts. The student must also understand that it is harder to design a first rate chair than it is to paint a second rate painting, besides the chair is much more useful. As I said before the master craftsman and the artist should work side by side to grasp the full potential of the student. Another Bauhaus principle that was essential to its success is the belief that the student should get as much hands on experience as possible; First, in the classroom and then in the shop. Finally, the Bauhaus implemented an abolishment of history education. They believed that since this is modern art, it is a completely different aspect than previous times so it was useless to study past works. (Barr 5) These are the certain ideologies that Gropius wished to implement on his school of design and contributed greatly to its renowned success.
In the focus of the basic education that everybody had to attend was the Preliminary Course. It was the Swiss painter Johannes Itten that brought the idea and method of a preliminary course to the Bauhaus, while the Hungarian Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and German Josef Albers developed the preliminary course further. Only after having passed this course successfully, a student was accepted to professional studies in the workshops. At this point, the student had a choice in the artistic field of which he would pursue. The basic education was also supported with some obligatory courses in which, for instance the ones held by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, the emphasis was merely on pictorial questions, and model drawing. Art and design schools all over the world adopted the Bauhaus method of preliminary courses that are still practiced today. Johannes Itten had this idea and brought it with him from Vienna, which he had developed in his art school there. He let the students take into their hands wood, bast, glass, wire, plate, and coal as much as absolutely possible. All of these materials were then studied together as a whole. The supplies that were considered suitable for artistic ability were formed into plastic figures, and often these works were reminiscent of Dadaistic art, this being modern of the time. The characteristics of the different materials, their suitability or unsuitability for artistic use were discussed during the practical adaptation, followed by the analysis of the old masters. Their structure, composition, color, and use of light became the important feature of the study. The examination of color yielded particularly an essential knowledge. Itten’s color theory was based on physics as well as psychology, this being the color theory of a sensitive artist. Even in today’s art schools Itten’s theories of color are still implemented.
In spite of these successful advances, Gropius left the Bauhaus in 1928 to continue his career as an independent architect. During his leadership of the Bauhaus there were many political disputes over the school’s approach to art and technology. The controversies were present from the beginning, and all the way into the final closure of the school in Berlin. During its six years at Weimer, Bauhaus was constantly disputing with the citizens and the government. The origin of this problem arose along with the school, since it had been established during a time period when the Socialist leaders were in power at Weimer. This caused many citizens and officials to believe that the school was associated with the Socialist and Communist parties, even though Gropius strictly prohibited his students and faculty from engaging in any political disputes. The real problem was between this new art and the traditional Art Academy that resided in Weimer before it. The accusations eventually died down by the 1920s when the government offered to create a separation between the Art Academy and the Bauhaus, saying that both could coexist. Unfortunately, this could not be accomplished at this time because of financial difficulties, so Gropius had the choice of either signing a contract that would essentially destroy his school, or shut it down on his own. Of course he chose to shut it down in April of 1925, only to reopen it in Dessau that same year due to an agreement with Hesse, the government official of Dessau. He was not the only one to make this decision. His faculty and the students agreed to sign a petition, which was then sent to the government that resigned the school from Weimer.
Gropius continued his reign in Dessau for three more years, and managed to design and construct the school buildings there in 1926 and 1927. (06) In 1928 he finally resigned when he felt that the school was firmly established, and left the Bauhaus art school to the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer (03). Meyer promoted the scientific development of the design training with vigor. He was a self-proclaimed functionalist of the ‘neue sachlichkeit’ tradition. With this particular view on architectural design, it changed the school in many ways. This alteration affected the curriculum and faculty members, changing their execution of educating the students. Unfortunately, he was unable to advance the school as well as Gropius. This in turn caused many political disputes within the school resulting in many of the existing faculty to resign. Eventually, Meyer was dismissed as the director of the Bauhaus in 1930, and it was then turned over to the famous German architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, (05) who ironically had turned down the offer form Gropius two years prior.
Mies described the Bauhaus under Meyer’s direction as, “A rather hectic place, with a wild group of students agitating for one thing or another, and turning out a large crop of illegitimate babies, much to the horror of the staid citizens of Dessau.” (Honey 52) When Mies did finally taken office it caused a great uproar and protest from the students. They believed that Mies was a formalist and would radically change the school into something other than the Bauhaus traditions. In a sense this was true, for Mies had made some radical changes within the school. This was completed in terms of curriculum, faculty, and ultimately the alteration of the building programs, particularly the Prellerhaus, which was the dormitory for the students. This further enraged the scholars who disapproved in his views and held mass meetings at the canteen on campus, eventually urging Mies to defend him-self in his intentions for the school. His reaction was to simply refuse this demand and dispersed the crowd with police action.
Despite Mies Van Der Rohe’s political faults he worked wonderfully to enhance the school’s architecture program. It was no longer just an art school with architecture as a minor contributor, but produced magnificent architectural designs. Therefore it was not his administrative title that should be notable, but his job as a teacher. He cut down on the size of the classes, as a matter of fact, he taught only four individuals at a time. Mies’ ideals in teaching were different in the sense that he would have a student try a design concept over and over until that scholar finally understood the intentions and direction of an architect in Mies’ eyes. To get an idea of his teaching style it is interesting to note this particular situation, (to a student of his, named Selman Selmanagic) ‘Selman, we shall have to start all over again.’ Surprised the student began defending his design in terms of circulation and placement of his first floor programs. ’Come now, Selman, if you meet twin sisters who are equally healthy, intelligent and wealthy, and both can bear children, but one is ugly, the other beautiful, which one would you marry?’ (Honey 54)
Once Mies had a strong hold on the Bauhaus, again politics took its toll. Only this time the Nazi political party was at the root of the problem. The leader, of this propaganda, Schultze-Naumberg, began his ties with the Nazi party back in Thuringia (Weimar). He had promised two accomplishments to his followers based solely on propaganda. (Similar to what the Jewish community had suffered during the World War II Holocaust) First, the Ring architects and their followers were to be deprived of their influence upon German architecture; On the other hand, the Party would work towards a purity of German style. In 1932 the Nazi party managed to accomplish a strong political hold in the city of Dessau, allowing them to begin their attack on the Bauhaus and Mies Van Der Rohe. Fortunately, the city council at the time was able to defend the school temporarily, but this did not last long due to public appearances. Eventually, the Nazi party had their way and held an exhibition for the financial continuance of the Bauhaus. Of course, the school was shut down because the Nazi party felt that it did not meet the standards necessary on October 1, 1932. On the other hand, Mies felt that the exhibition was the best he had seen from the Bauhaus ever. Immediately after the closure of the public Bauhaus, Mies opened it again as a private institution in Berlin. To no prevail, the Nazis shut it down once again on April 11, 1933.
Bauhaus radiated its effects outside Germany already in the 1920s. The significance of Bauhaus was perhaps greatest in the United States. For the purpose of a critical evaluation of the Bauhaus ideology and its influences, an archive and museum were founded in Darmstadt in 1960. It was moved to the western zone of Berlin in 1971, and an initiative was taken in 1986 for creating a new, independent Bauhaus-Dessau. The New Bauhaus has approached art and technology from the ecologic angle. The questions of environment and dwelling and problems connected with them have been taken up for development in cooperation with the inhabitants of Dessau. In the town surrounded by gravely polluted industrial areas, the school has begun looking for new solutions to environmental problems and redevelopment of the worn down dwelling areas. Through the reunion of Germany Bauhaus is again beginning to open up windows towards the rest of Europe and to the New World. The famous school, Bauhaus, may have had many hard times throughout it’s history, but the influences for which it implemented on the architecture of today is immeasurable. Every design decision made by today’s architect has some piece from the Bauhaus of yesterday. The original Bauhaus may have died along with the resignation of Gropius, but the critical ideology still lives on today.
Barr, Alfred H. Jr. and Gropius, Walter and Dorner, Alexander, Bauhaus 1919 to 1928 (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938).
Honey, Sandra, Mies at the Bauhaus (Great Britain: Architectural Association, 1978) v.10 n.1 p. -59, ISSN 0001-0189.
Lane, Barbara Miller, Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918-1945 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1968).
Naylor, Gillian, The Bauhaus (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co. Inc., 1968).
Kentgens-Craig, Margret, The Bauhaus and America: First Contacts 1919-1936 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1999): 149-166.
Giedion, Sigfried, Walter Gropius (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1954).
Schulze, Franz, Mies Van Der Rohe: A Critical Biography (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985): 174-204.