ALEXANDER FLEMING (1881-1955)

1929 – UK

‘First identification of an antibiotic – the discovery of penicillin’

The chance discovery of a mould in 1928 led to the development of a non-toxic drug, which is used to combat the bacteria that infect wounds.

Whilst Paul Erlich (1854-1915) worked in Germany to produce a ‘magic-bullet’, a compound or dye that could stick to bacteria and damage them, Alexander Fleming’s chance discovery of the antibacterial properties of the mould Penicillium notatum led him to conclude there was a chemical produced by the mould that would attack the bacterial agents of disease.

Whilst searching for a naturally occurring bacteria-killer, Fleming’s experiments were concentrated on the body’s own sources, tears, saliva and nasal mucus.
The chance discovery of the anti-bacterial properties of Penicillium notatum was not developed commercially until World War Two over a decade later.

Wikipedia-logo © (link to wikipedia)picture of the Nobel medal - link to nobelprize.org

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2 thoughts on “ALEXANDER FLEMING (1881-1955)

  1. Pingback: PAUL DIRAC (1902-84) | neilsen

  2. Pingback: ROBERT KOCH (1843-1910) | neilsen

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