Major Contributions. Fleming's largest contribution to the field of science was his discovery of Penicillin in 1928, which reportedly came by mere accident. On September 3rd 1928, Fleming returned...
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. It was the Scottish microbiologist and pharmacist Alexander Fleming who discovered almost accidentally the properties of a substance that we know today as penicillin, and that has saved millions of lives around the world.
Oct 12, 2021 · Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin and the subsequent development of antibiotic drugs to fight infection revolutionized medicine in the 20th century. Take a closer look at Fleming's ...
- 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...
Alexander Fleming went down in history thanks to the discovery of penicillin, but the truth is that his contributions to science and the world in general go beyond this discovery. And that in itself, isolating penicillin is one of the great achievements of medicine. 1. Discovery of penicillin.
In an article he wrote during this time, Fleming discussed the presence of anaerobic bacteria in deep wounds, which proliferated despite antiseptics. Initially, his research was not accepted, but Fleming continued undaunted and in 1922, he discovered lysozyme, an enzyme with weak antibacterial properties.
- Siang Yong Tan, Yvonne Tatsumura
Alexander Fleming. Lived 1881 – 1955. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, whose use as an antibiotic has saved untold millions of lives. Less well-known is that before making this world-changing discovery, he had already made significant life-saving contributions to medical science.