Alexander Fleming's discovery of the antibiotic penicillin, in 1928, was an important development in medicine, as it enabled the treatment of previously grave diseases. But it was a sheer act of accidental luck that Fleming, a scientist studying bacteria, made the crucial breakthrough. Luca James Lee performs a clear and concise style that turns the medicine's fascinating, convoluted science and background into a compelling yet easy-to-follow history. The authority of Lee's voice helps listeners to grasp the significance of penicillin as a medical tool in this effective iMinds title.
Learn about the discovery of Penicillin with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.When Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, it was a lucky accident. He didn’t realize at the time that penicillin would dramatically change the face of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
Fleming was a researcher studying the natural antibacterial substances produced by the body. He had been working with the bacteria that caused boils. To study the bacteria he grew colonies of it on plates. He later took a holiday leaving plates of bacteria to grow while he was away. On returning from his holiday, he noticed a mold growing on one of the plates. Colonies of the bacteria, which should have been growing around the mold, had died off. Fleming knew this to be strange and went about trying to identify the mold. He discovered the mold produced an antibacterial substance which he later named “penicillin”. However, the penicillin produced by the mold was elusive and seemingly impossible to separate from the concoction in which he had cultivated it. As Fleming was unable to isolate the penicillin and did not yet realize its importance, he abandoned his work.
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