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The Discovery of Penicillin
1. Alexander Fleming, 1928
­ Found mould (Penicillium notatum) growing on
plates culturing bacteria.
­ Clear areas of agar around them.
­ Extracted substance called penicillin.
­ But later gave up on the idea.
Clear Areas
Bacteria…read more

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The Discovery of Penicillin
2. Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, WW2
­ Extracted enough penicillin.
­ Animal Trials then on dying man.
­ Needed more but difficult to grow.
­ 1945, enough to treat 7 million per year.…read more

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Modern Penicillin Production
· Grown in sterilised medium in fermenter.
· Needs nutrients and oxygen.
· After nutrients has gone, penicillin grows.
· Regularly extracted, purified, turned into
medicine ­ almost 30,000 tonnes per year.…read more

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Key Points about Penicillin
1. Discovered by Fleming, whilst method of
mass production was work of Florey and
2. Made by growing mould Penicillium in a
3. Medium contain nutrients and good supply
of oxygen.
4. Only produced after mould uses up all
nutrients.…read more


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