Individuals- Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister was an english sugeon who is most famous for his use of carbolic acid during sugery.
He didn't play much of a role, however it is important to know that Fleming was not the first to discover the penicillin mould.
- In 1872 Joseph Lister noticed that the mould killed other bacteria
- In 1884 he used it to treat a nurse who had an infected wound.
- However, he never used it again.
Individuals- Alexander Fleming
Alexander Fleming was a scottish microbiologist who discovered penicillin.
Although he did get the ball rolling- he didn't finish it. He gave up on his discovery however did write his findings down for Florey and Chain to pick up later..
- He studied at St Mary's Hospital
- He was interested in microbes causing tetanus and gangrene, and searched for substances to fight them
- In 1928 he observed that a mould had grown in a culture of bacteria and killed the bacteria around it. He called the active substance in the mould penicillin
- He made a list of the germs it killed, and used it to treat a scientist's eye infection
- He wrote his findings in 1929 in a journal.
Individuals- Howard Florey & Ernst Chain
Florey was an Australian Oxford researcher. Chain was an Oxford biochemist. It is debateable that these two individuals are the most important as they got the drug mass produced.
- 1938 Florey & Chain were researching how germs could be killed and came across Fleming's article.
- They tried to get funding from the British government, but they could only give them £25 because the war was happening.
- Florey was determined and went to the US and got funding for 5 years
- By 1941 they had enough to test on Albert Alexander- a policeman who was dying.
- They kept recycling his urine to get as much as possible, but they eventually ran out and he died.
- 1941 Pearl Harbour was attacked by the japanese.
- The US government realised the potential and made interest free loans to companies to buy the expensive equipments.
Factors- War + Chance
- The outbreak of WW2 meant that it was important to develop penicillin.
- The americans were keen to develop the drug for soldiers
- Fleming was investigating infected wounds of WW1 soldiers.
- It is suspected that the mould in Fleming's experiments blew in from an open window.
- Fleming left a pile of dirty bacteria dishes out and went on holiday
- Fleming noticed a change in one of the dishes.
Factors- Communications + Government
- Florey and Chain read Fleming's papers on Penicillin
- Florey flew to the US to interest American drug companies in developing the drug.
- Fleming did not get funded so he stopped researching
- The British government could only afford to give Florey and Chain £25, so they went to America
- The American government made interest free loans to drug companies.
- 1872 Joseph Lister noticed mould
- 1884 used it to treat nurse
- 1928 Fleming discovered penicillin
- 1929 wrote findings in a medical journal
- 1938 Florey and Chain started researching
- 1941 had enough to test on one person
- 1941 Pearl Harbour
- 1944 D-Day
- 1944 Fleming made ''Man of the Year'
Who Deserved the Credit?
Fleming, Florey and Chain all won the Nobel Prize for Physiology + Medicine for the discovery and development of penicillin.
Who do you think deserved the credit?
- Discovered the drug, even though people such as Lister have discovered the mould before him
- He found the drug by chance, however he did stop to look at it further
- A friend of Fleming said that he thought he "didn't deserve the Nobel Prize" however "couldn't help enjoying all the undeserved fame."
Florey + Chain:
- They found drew the drug into the public eye and got it mass produced
- They tested the drug, which Fleming failed to do