Silver Bullet for Acne? - I Dont Think So!

I read a report recently discussing the success of the project to sequence the genome of the bacteria that is said to cause acne, Propionibacterium acnes, and how this may lead to new ways to treat Acne.

It made me think how easily we can jump to conclusions, that may not be supported by the evidence, or by common sense. Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support the research that the scientific community is doing in the field of Acne, and I am hopeful that it will lead to better treatments, or better understanding of what acne treatments are likely to work.

The article started by saying "European scientists have sequenced the complete genome of a bacterial species involved in many cases of acne, and they're already working on potential new treatments based on that achievement". That is fine but it then continued with the assumption that having found the bacteria which caused acne, and decoded it's genome, it was only a matter of time before the problem of acne was solved.

It is a huge step to go from sequencing the genome of a bacteria involved in many cases of acne, to curing acne.

If a bacteria was the cause of acne, then people who had the bacteria would have acne, and people who didn't have the bacteria would not. Also it would be possible to pass acne to someone else, by physical contact. It may be true that this bacteria is involved in many cases of acne, but, in my opinion, it is not true that it causes acne.

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