The contributions from Alexander Fleming He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945, along with his colleagues Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. The origin of modern antibiotics hides a surprising history that would forever mark the scientific community.
Alexander Fleming is a notable name in biomedical research. He is credited with the discovery of penicillin, which led to the development of antibiotics for medicinal use. This article discusses...
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- The Road to St. Mary’s
- Approaches to Fighting Infectious Disease
- Penicillin Discovered—By Accident
Born in Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland, Fleming was the seventh of eight surviving children in a farm family. His father died when he was seven years old, leaving his mother to manage the farm with her eldest stepson. Fleming, having acquired a good basic education in local schools, followed a stepbrother, already a practicing physician, to London when he was 13. He spent his teenaged years attending classes at Regent Street Polytechnic, working as a shipping clerk, and serving briefly in the army during the Boer War (1899–1902), although he did not see combat. Then in 1901 he won a scholarship to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in Paddington, London, which remained his professional home for the rest of his life.
Fleming accepted a post as a medical bacteriologist at St. Mary’s after completing his studies, and in 1906 he joined the staff of the Inoculation Department under the direction of Sir Almroth Wright. Wright strongly believed in strengthening the body’s own immune system through vaccine therapy, not by chemotherapy—the introduction of external chemical agents (see Paul Ehrlich). Nonetheless, he turned over to Fleming samples of a new drug, Salvarsan, synthesized by Paul Ehrlich and colleagues for treating syphilis. Fleming’s experience administering the drug to patients was positive, and thereafter he maintained a small but lucrative practice administering Salvarsan to wealthy patients suffering from syphilis. During World War I, Fleming worked at a special wound-research laboratory in Boulogne, France, headed by Wright. There he began research that produced results more in keeping with Wright’s thinking. He was able to demonstrate that then commonly used chemical antiseptics like c...
Fleming’s legendary discovery of penicillin occurred in 1928, while he was investigating staphylococcus, a common type of bacteria that causes boils and can also cause disastrous infections in patients with weakened immune systems. Before Fleming left for a two-week vacation, a petri dish containing a staphylococcus culture was left on a lab bench and never placed in the incubator as intended. Somehow, in preparing the culture, a Penicilliummold spore had been accidentally introduced into the medium—perhaps coming in through a window, or more likely floating up a stairwell from the lab below where various molds were being cultured. The temperature conditions that prevailed during Fleming’s absence permitted both the bacteria and the mold spores to grow; had the incubator been used, only the bacteria could have grown. Fleming’s laboratory notebooks are sketchy, and his subsequent accounts of the discovery are contradictory. The evidence of the first culture, which he photographed, in...
Oct 31, 2020 · Contributions to Science: Fleming became interested in the problems of disinfection and the use of antiseptics on wounds during World War I, and af ter the war he continued to search for antibacterial substances that were not toxic to normal tissues.
Fleming’s study of lysozyme, which he considered his best work as a scientist, was a significant contribution to the understanding of how the body fights infection. Unfortunately, lysozyme had no effect on the most-pathogenic bacteria.
Apr 17, 2021 · Walther Flemming, (born April 21, 1843, Sachsenberg, Mecklenburg [now in Germany]—died Aug. 4, 1905, Kiel, Ger.), German anatomist, a founder of the science of cytogenetics (the study of the cell’s hereditary material, the chromosomes).
Nov 21, 2007 · What did Sir Alexander Fleming greatest contribute to Science? Sir Alexander Fleming was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He is best known for his discovery of the enzyme lysozyme...
The Science Channel named Flemming's discovery of mitosis and chromosomes as one of the 100 most important scientific discoveries of all time, and one of the 10 most important discoveries in cell biology. Flemming's name is honoured by a medal awarded by the German Society for Cell Biology (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie).
Alexander Fleming’s Discovery of Penicillin Penicillin heralded the dawn of the antibiotic age. Before its introduction there was no effective treatment for infections such as pneumonia, gonorrhea or rheumatic fever.