It is so easy to take antibiotics for granted. Everyone in the first world is used to the idea that there are drugs that can cure strep, staph, TB, just about any infectious disease. But in the 1920s the President of the United States lost his 12 year old son to an infected blister. 10 years later another President's son was saved by sulfa. The discovery of the first effective sulfa antibiotic took the patience of years of work and hundreds of compounds tested. This books made me want to learn more about the miracle that is antibiotics.
It's in the top 10%
It seems hard to imagine that this book could be as good as it is, given it's subject matter. It's wonderfully written, suspenseful, and well edited. It doesn't waste a moment of your time.
What a great story of perseverance! Fantastic example of a few men willing and able to change the world and not letting anyone telling them it was impossible. This is perhaps, the story that shaped healthcare the most this past century. It gives a great peek into the process of drug development pre-WWII which was unregulated and free wheeling. Yet at the same time drug discovery itself is done in essentially the exact same manner!
I am a dancer, health professional, meditator and avid reader. I listen to audio books while driving, working out and doing chores. I listen to non-fiction more than fiction, but enjoy both. I like books I can learn from or be inspired by. I post my favorites on Pintrest.
I enjoyed the history of the development of the first antibiotics. I might listen again in a few years after reading other books with intersecting histories.
I liked the way it showed the connection of external forces like war, the need for a company to make money on their R&D, and the scientists perseverance in pursuing the possibility of finding a drug to kill bacteria.
The part of the story that told about a disaster of mixing sulfa with a chemical to make it drinkable, which turned out to be poisonous which led to the FDA regulation of drugs being released to the public.
No, I listened over a number of settings
All of us have benefitted from antibiotics, this is relevant to all of us.
Fascinating tale that unfolds in the midst of wartime Germany. Although I cringed at some of the main characters' connections to the Nazis, I found the story interesting and revealing. Great delivery, too.
Nos describe en forma amena y creíble los abnegados esfuerzos de los investigadores para descubrir tratamientos innovadores.
I would only recommend a book with a 4 or higher rating
like a science teacher
i bought this from a special on syfy books which should of never been in this catagory, It is a book on the history penicillin
I love to read but with my busy schedule I barely get a chance to. However, audiobooks allow me to "read" while I manage my crazy life.
We have come a long way in our understanding of human anatomy, pathophysiology, and biochemistry since the time of Domagk's Prontosil. There are now nearly 5,000 medications available in the US and nearly 18,000 medication products available for use today. We have a federal agency (FDA) that monitors, approves, and regulates drug manufacturers and we have a generation of people who grew up taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection. All of this can be attributed to the discovery of sulfa drugs in some shape or form.
I enjoyed this story on so many levels. The timeline of events itself, amazed me. 1935 was when Prontosil hit the market for popular consumption and before then there really wasn’t a safe (relatively) and effective method/drug for curing a bacterial infection. Aside from the risky and expensive serum treatments our only hope of overcoming a bacterial infection was to pray that one’s immune system was hardy enough.
Domagk and his team of scientists created not only a miracle weapon against bacteria, but they opened the doors to many of the procedures used in drug testing and animal trials that we employ today. In addition, it changed the way chemist now looked at molecules to cure human diseases and the collaboration needed with scientist in other fields. Keep in mind that this was a time when there were very little therapeutically active medications on the market. Aside from digoxin and porcine or bovine insulin the only drugs out on the market were herbs or useless and sometimes harmful concoctions (either created deceptively or with plain old ignorance). Physicians and pharmacist alike didn’t understand the mechanism of action of a drug or its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In fact, Domagk and his team of scientists didn’t fully understand how Prontosil work; they just knew it did base on their controlled animal studies and the effects on the human population they sampled on. With the miracle drug at hand, it was no wonder the world went a little sulfa-crazy. People were taking it for any infection they had, viral or bacterial and they were also using it as a prophylactic drug, taking it before they were intimate with someone. After realizing that sulfa was the active component in the molecule and that it was virtually impossible for Bayer to patent all forms of a sulfa compound, manufacturers jumped on the band-wagon and began making and selling their own form of the sulfonamide antibiotic. Unfortunately, this lead to a devastating outcome when a chemist used diethylene glycol as a solvent unaware that DEG is poisonous to humans and thus resulted in the death of over 100 people. After this incident, many felt the need to have tighter regulations on drug testing and manufacturing and thus increased and strengthened the reach and responsibility of the FDA.
As a budding pharmacist, I found this book fascinating and interesting. As a reader, I enjoyed the story telling and I was compelled to learn more about the progression of our successes and failures in medicinal science.
Just a side note, there are many drugs today that we don’t know the exact mechanism of action. However we are a lot more knowledgeable than we were in Domagk’s time; and hopefully 80 years from now, that generation will say the same about us. Finding our drug research in the fields of genomic pharmacology or biopharmaceutics primitive and yet enlightening.