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  • Created by: izzy
  • Created on: 06-07-12 10:00

Alexander Flemming

  • 1928, Alexander Flemming, left a bacteria culture by an open window.
  • He noticed mould growing, but around it there was dead bacteria.
  • He found this mould was penicillium notatum from which he extracted penicillin.
  • Flemming gave up on culturing it because he couldn't extract  very much.
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Howard Florey and Ernst Chain

  • In WW2, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain extracted enough penicillin to use it. But they ran out.
  • Luckily they found a similar mould on a melon, which held up to 200x more penicillin.
  • By 1945 enough was being produced to treat 7 million people a year.
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Modern Penicillin Production

  • Mould grown in a sterilised medium containing sugar, amino acids, mineral salts, and other nutrients.
  • Penicillin only grows once nutrients are used up.
    • So there's a 40-hour lag phase betweeb start of fermentation and penicillin production.
  • Then there's a 140 hour period of extraction.
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Mary Nunez


This is a sad news for sir Alexander fleming.....I guess....

Four years after drug companies began mass-producing penicillin in 1943, microbes began appearing that could resist it.

The first bug to battle penicillin was Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium is often a harmless passenger in the human body, but it can cause illness, such as pneumonia or toxic shock syndrome, when it overgrows or produces a toxin.




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