An antibiotic is a drug that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. The use of antibiotics has been of paramount importance in the battle against many infectious diseases that are caused by microorganisms. In the case of many antibiotics, their mode of action is to inhibit the translation process within bacterial cells. Certain antibiotics selectively bind to bacterial (70S) ribosomes but do not inhibit eukaryotic (80S) ribosomes. Their ability to inhibit translation can occur at different steps in the translation process. For example, tetracycline prevents the attachment of tRNA to the ribosome while erythromycin inhibits the translocation of the ribosome along the mRNA. Why would an antibiotic bind to a bacterial ribosome but not to a eukaryotic ribosome? How does inhibition of translation by antibiotics such as tetracycline prevent bacterial growth
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