The discovery of penicillin – modern day miracle or lucky accident…?
It’s hard to imagine a world without the life-saving antibiotic, penicillin. Yet, it was only around a hundred years ago that Alexander Fleming first realised its importance. During the First World War Fleming realised the use of antiseptics was not preventing infections, particularly in deep wounds. And it was a lucky accident in 1928 that led him to discover something that would change healthcare forever more.
Fleming had been on holiday in Suffolk. He had left some petri dishes containing a culture in a corner of his laboratory. On his return, Fleming noticed that one culture was contaminated with a fungus, and that this fungus was destroying the cultures it was in contact with. He identified this mould as Penicillium.
Fleming was quoted as saying:
One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928…
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