Discovery of Penicillin: The Wonder Drug - Alexander Fleming (E)

Born in scotland, a distinguished student, while serving in army, Alexander Fleming began a series of experiments in 1920’s involving the common bacteria in infected wounds and bloods of soldiers. An uncovered Petri dish sitting next to an open window became contaminated with mould spores. Fleming observed that the bacteria in proximity to the mould colonies were dying; Using his methods of titration, he was able to isolate the active ‘juice’ from the mould, and found it to be effective against all Gram-positive pathogens, which are responsible for diseases such as fever, pneumonia, meningitis etc. He attributed it to the produced ‘juice’, named as ‘penicillin’, in the mould, that had killed the bacteria. Later, he would say: “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.”

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