Penicillin

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Penicillin

Post  laraschembrisant on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:52 pm

Born in 1881 on a farm in Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland, Alexander Fleming in the 1920’s manufactured one of the world’s most important breakthroughs, it was the discovery of penicillin. Alexander Fleming, entered medical school when he was twenty years old and after graduating in 1908, he joined a research group. World War I interrupted his career, yet it influenced his future research. Horrified by the methods of treating war wounds, Fleming determined that once he was back in a lab setting, he would experiment with ways to clean wounds of infectious microorganisms. An infectious microorganism is a virus or fungus that is usually infected. One method he employed was to grow bacteria that caused painful boils (a boil is a blister or swelling of some sort). As he later examined one of the containers, he noticed that it was covered with green mold. A second look showed that the mold seemed to be dissolving some of the bacteria. The green mold, called penicillium, led to the development of penicillin. Later on through controlled experiments Fleming demonstrated that bacteria could be destroyed by injecting it with fluid filtered from the mold. Because it was so difficult to extract a pure antibiotic substance, Fleming’s 1928 penicillin research was abandoned.
Ten years later chemists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, at Oxford University in England decided to set in motion what Fleming had already began. The team successfully tested the drug on humans, and by 1943 at least 500,000 people a month were being treated with the antibacterial. By almost the end of 1941, Andrew J. Moyer, a mold nutrition expert, succeeded in multiplying the penicillin production by 10 times and by the year 1943, the clinical trials needed to approve the penicillin doses for public use. These doses were extremely expensive in the year 1940, but as time went on, they became much less costly, being around $20 a dose in July of 1943, and around fifty cents per dose in 1946. About four years after penicillin had begun being produced on a large scale in 1943, bacteria and other microbes started resisting it. Wounded soldiers were in need for penicillin, and as records show penicillin has been used to cure soldiers. Medical companies started sending out billions of units of penicillin per month by 1944. After this drug's inexplicable effect on these soldiers, more of this drug was demanded from the medical companies in the United States. Many researchers say that penicillin was an indirect cause of the victories for many nations. Finally in 1945 Florey, Chain, and Fleming received the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
Penicillin even today has a huge impact; it prevents many children from getting diseases such as infections of the bone, stomach, or throat. In conclusion, the discovery of penicillin had its impacts on history and today. Thanks to their careful observations and meticulous work, diseases such as pneumonia and blood poisoning are no longer automatic death sentences for humans. In addition, other diseases, such as strep throat, sexually transmitted diseases, and urinary tract infections can now be easily cured with penicillin.

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Re: Penicillin

Post  Maya Luisa on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:07 pm

Nice topic Lara. How did people treat war wounds before penicillin? I wonder why people abandoned his research instead of studying further into and finding a way. Now a days we use this stuff a lot and without his research we wouldn't have it and we would have been stuck in the old days. Imagine we didn't have penicillin now a days. There are a lot of medicines and cures inside of rain forests. Most likely a cure for every single disease known to man but yet we haven't even discovered half of these cures so millions of people are dying from them. Hopefully we will keep searching and eventually find the cure for everything. I wonder what life would be like without diseases or at least without incurable ones. I wonder if man would have another weak point instead of death by disease.
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Re: Penicillin

Post  martinka64_Kate on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:50 pm

Discovery of penicillin is definitely something that helped people survive in future times. A lot of antibiotics are made from penicillin and antibiotics are important for the medicine today. There are also bad things to them, like taking antibiotics isn't good for you, but its better than dying right? Smile
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Re: Penicillin

Post  elena.scates on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:28 am

It's crazy to think about how people actually discovered something like penicillin, which help people every day. Without this medicine, disease and sickness rates would probably be much higher. Nice topic Lara!
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