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  1. Early life and education. Born on 6 August 1881 at Lochfield farm near Darvel, in Ayrshire, Scotland, Alexander Fleming was the third of four children of farmer Hugh Fleming (1816–1888) and Grace Stirling Morton (1848–1928), the daughter of a neighbouring farmer.

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    How did Alexander Fleming's discovery change the world?

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    How did Alexander Fleming come up with the name penicillin?

  4. › wiki › JamaicaJamaica - Wikipedia

    Jamaica (/ dʒ ə ˈ m eɪ k ə / (); Jamaican Patois: Jumieka) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea.Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean (after Cuba and Hispaniola).

  5. Alexander III of Macedon (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος, Aléxandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. A member of the Argead dynasty, he was born in Pella—a city in Ancient Greece—in 356 BC.

  6. › wiki › Ian_FlemingIan Fleming - Wikipedia

    Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British writer, journalist and naval intelligence officer who is best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Henley from 1910 until his ...

    • Early History
    • Early Scientific Evidence
    • The Breakthrough Discovery
    • Isolation
    • First Medical Use
    • Mass Production
    • Chemical Analysis
    • Outcomes
    • Development of Penicillin-Derivatives
    • Drug Resistance

    Many ancient cultures, including those in Egypt, Greece and India, independently discovered the useful properties of fungi and plants in treating infection. These treatments often worked because many organisms, including many species of mould, naturally produce antibioticsubstances. However, ancient practitioners could not precisely identify or isolate the active components in these organisms. In 17th-century Poland, wet bread was mixed with spider webs (which often contained fungal spores) to treat wounds. The technique was mentioned by Henryk Sienkiewicz in his 1884 book With Fire and Sword. In England in 1640, the idea of using mould as a form of medical treatment was recorded by apothecaries such as John Parkinson, King's Herbarian, who advocated the use of mould in his book on pharmacology.

    The modern history of penicillin research begins in earnest in the 1870s in the United Kingdom. Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson, who started out at St. Mary's Hospital (1852–1858) and later worked there as a lecturer (1854–1862), observed that culture fluid covered with mould would produce no bacterial growth. Burdon-Sanderson's discovery prompted Joseph Lister, an English surgeon and the father of modern antisepsis, to discover in 1871 that urine samples contaminated with mould also did not permit the growth of bacteria. Lister also described the antibacterial action on human tissue of a species of mould he called Penicillium glaucum. A nurse at King's College Hospital whose wounds did not respond to any traditional antiseptic was then given another substance that cured him, and Lister's registrar informed him that it was called Penicillium. In 1874, the Welsh physician William Roberts, who later coined the term "enzyme", observed that bacterial contamination is generally absent in...


    Penicillin was discovered by a Scottish physician Alexander Fleming in 1928. While working at St Mary's Hospital, London, Fleming was investigating the pattern of variation in S. aureus. He was inspired by the discovery of an Irish physician Joseph Warwick Bigger and his two students C.R. Boland and R.A.Q. O’Meara at the Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, in 1927. Bigger and his students found that when they cultured a particular strain of S. aureus, which they designated "Y" that they isolate...

    Initial discovery

    In August, Fleming spent a vacation with his family at his country home The Dhoon at Barton Mills, Suffolk. Before leaving his laboratory, he inoculated several culture plates with S. aureus. He kept the plates aside on one corner of the table away from direct sunlight and to make space for Craddock to work in his absence. While in a vacation, he was appointed Professor of Bacteriology at the St Mary's Hospital Medical School on 1 September 1928. He arrived at his laboratory on 3 September, w...


    Fleming went off to resume his vacation and returned for the experiments late in September.He collected the original mould and grew them in culture plates. After four days he found that the plates developed large colonies of the mould. He repeated the experiment with the same bacteria-killing results. He later recounted his experience: He concluded that the mould was releasing a substance that was inhibiting bacterial growth, and he produced culture broth of the mould and subsequently concent...

    In 1939, Ernst Boris Chain, a German (later naturalised British) chemist, joined the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at the University of Oxford to investigate on antibiotics. He was immediately impressed by Fleming's 1929 paper, and informed his supervisor, the Australian scientist Howard Florey (later Baron Florey), of the potential drug. By then Florey had acquired a research grant of $25,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation for studying antibiotics. He assembled a research team including Edward Abraham, Arthur Duncan Gardner, Norman Heatley, Margaret Jennings, J. Orr-Ewing and G. Sanders in addition to Chain. The Oxford team prepared a concentrated extract of P. rubens as "a brown powder" that "has been obtained which is freely soluble in water". They found that the powder was not only effective in vitro against bacterial cultures but also and in vivo against bacterial infection in mice. On 5 May 1939, they injected a group of eight mice with a virulent strain of S. aureus,...

    Fleming performed the first clinical trial with penicillin on Craddock. Craddock had developed severe infection of the nasal antrum (sinusitis) and had undergone surgery. Fleming made use of the surgical opening of the nasal passage and started injecting penicillin on 9 January 1929 but without any effect. It probably was due to the fact that the infection was with influenza bacillus (Haemophilus influenzae), the bacterium which he had found unsusceptible to penicillin. Fleming gave some of his original penicillin samples to his colleague-surgeon Arthur Dickson Wright for clinical test in 1928. Although Wright reportedly said that it "seemed to work satisfactorily,"there are no records of its specific use. Cecil George Paine, a pathologist at the Royal Infirmary in Sheffield, was the first to successfully use penicillin for medical treatment. He was a former student of Fleming and when he learned of the discovery, asked the penicillin sample from Fleming. He initially attempted to t...

    Knowing that large-scale production for medical use was futile in a confined laboratory, the Oxford team tried to convince war-torn British government and private companies for mass production but in vain. Florey and Heatley travelled to the US in June 1941 to persuade US government and pharmaceutical companies there. Knowing that keeping the mould sample in vials could be easily lost, they instead smeared their coat pockets with the mould. They arrived in Washington D.C. in early July to discuss with Ross Granville Harrison, chairman of the National Research Council (NRC), and Charles Thom and Percy Wells of the United States Department of Agriculture. They were directed to approach the USDA Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL, now the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research) where large-scale fermentations were done. They reached Peoria, Illinois, on 14 July to meet Andrew Jackson Moyer and Robert D. Coghill at the NRRL. The Americans quickly worked on the mo...

    The chemical structure of penicillin was first proposed by Edward Abraham in 1942. Dorothy Hodgkin determined the correct chemical structure of penicillin using X-ray crystallography at Oxford in 1945. In 1945, the US Committee on Medical Research and the British Medical Research Council jointly published in Science a chemical analyses done at different universities, pharmaceutical companies and government research departments. The report announced the existence of different forms of penicillin compounds which all shared the same structural component called β-lactam.The penicillins were given various names such as using Roman numerals in UK (such as penicillin I, II, III) in order their discoveries and letters (such as F, G, K, and X) referring to their origins or sources, as below: The chemical names were based on the side chainsof the compounds. To avoid the controversial names, Chain introduced in 1948 the chemical names as standard nomenclature, remarking as: "To make the nomenc...

    Fleming, Florey and Chain equally shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine"for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases." Methods for production and isolation of penicillin were patented by Andrew Jackson Moyer in US in 1945. Chain had wanted to file a patent, Florey and his teammates objected to it arguing that it should be a benefit for all. Sir Henry Dale specifically advised that doing so would be unethical.When Fleming learned of the American patents on penicillin production, he was infuriated and commented: Dorothy Hodgkin received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry"for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances."

    The narrow range of treatable diseases or "spectrum of activity" of the penicillins, along with the poor activity of the orally active phenoxymethylpenicillin, led to the search for derivatives of penicillin that could treat a wider range of infections. The isolation of 6-APA, the nucleus of penicillin, allowed for the preparation of semisynthetic penicillins, with various improvements over benzylpenicillin (bioavailability, spectrum, stability, tolerance). The first major development was ampicillin in 1961. It was produced by Beecham Research Laboratories in London. It was more advantageous than the original penicillin as it offered a broader spectrum of activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Further development yielded β-lactamase-resistant penicillins, including flucloxacillin, dicloxacillin, and methicillin. These were significant for their activity against β-lactamase-producing bacterial species, but were ineffective against the methicillin-resistant Staphyl...

    Fleming warned the possibility of penicillin resistance in clinical conditions in his Nobel Lecture, and said: In 1940, Ernst Chain and Edward Abraham reported the first indication of antibiotic resistance to penicillin, an E. coli strain that produced the penicillinase enzyme, which was capable of breaking down penicillin and completely negating its antibacterial effect. Chain and Abraham worked out the chemical nature of penicillinase which they reported in Natureas: In 1942, strains of Staphylococcus aureus had been documented to have developed a strong resistance to penicillin. Most of the strains were resistant to penicillin by the 1960s. In 1967, Streptococcus pneumoniaewas also reported to be penicillin resistant. Many strains of bacteria have eventually developed a resistance to penicillin.

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