Mold In Dr. Florey's Coat Essay

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The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat by Eric Lax comprises of a lot of biographical information of several different scientists involved in the discovery of penicillin as well as information about their personal lives, families, and other events that were going on in the rest of the world around them that ultimately influenced their work. In the beginning chapters the book introduces us to Alexander Fleming, who is credited for discovering penicillin in the first place. Alexander Fleming was born in August 6th, 1881 in Scotland on an 800 acre sheep farm. He was a quiet, awkward man with a great love for nature, drama and athletics. When he was nearly twenty he started preparing for medical school and four years later he passed his examination to become…show more content…
After the war, Fleming went back to his research lab, mostly working alone. Before he left on a vacation Fleming left a few dozen petri dishes on his lab bench, out of the sun. Upon returning he recorded what he saw from each dish and would place the dish, one by one, in a sink of disinfectant. As he was going about his business his research assistant, D. Merlin Pryce, came by to chat and ask about the experiment. Fleming showed Pryce some of the random dishes in the sink that were not immersed in the disinfectant. Among the ones he chose he noticed something he didn’t see before: it was a blue-green mold in the midst of tons of staphylococci…what was interesting was that no bacteria was surrounding the mold, only dead cells. What Fleming was observing was to be known as the “penicillin effect,” where the mold was producing a chemical that prevented the bacteria from growing. He believed that penicillin would be an effective antiseptic (i.e. antibiotic) for diseases sensitive to penicillin. Though they tried desperately, they could not extract and purify the penicillin. He and his assistants would work on penicillin until 1935. It wouldn’t be until ten years later after his paper on the topic was publish that anyone would take notice of the significance of their findings, because that paper was the start of the antibiotic revolution for medical

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