“Saving lives by accident”

Many social advances have been discovered by accident, showing the great observation and intuition researchers’ capacity. For instance, penicillin has saved millions of lives since 1928, which had importance a drastic change to the modern medicine, starting “Antibiotic’s Era”.

Alexander Fleming, who used to be interested in new treatments for the diseases, was a famous scientific for discovering the antimicrobial protein called lysozyme, and also, penicillin antibiotic from Penicillium chrysogenum.

In due time, while he was working in his laboratory, a mucus, coming from a sneeze, fell down on a Petri plate where it was growing up a germ culture. Few days later, he noticed that germs had been destroyed around the place where the nose fluid had been settled, the lysozyme‘s discover.

Fortunately, Fleming’s laboratory was regularly disordered, which turned out an advantage for the next achievement. He was expanding some experiments, when supervising the cultures, a mushroom colony had grown up spontaneously on a Staphylococcus aureus plate. Also, the colinies around the mushroom were transparent due to a germ lysis. Penicillium is a mushroom which produces a natural substance with antimicrobial effects, the penicillin, causing germs’ death.

Science community believed that penicillin would have been helpful to take care of trivial diseases; for it, they did not gave it attention. Finally, Fleming did not register patents thinking that it would make easy its spreading to take care of the several infections which beat population in those years.

On 1945, Fleming won the Medicine Nobel with Boris Chain and Walter Florey. He did a double contribution finding a chemical molecule (penicillin) and a protein (lysozyme) with antimicrobial activity. By that reason, it is considered like the first on discovered a antimicrobial protein.

By Reina


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