• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Alexander Fleming

Extracts from this document...


Alexander Fleming Antibiotics "One sometimes finds what one is not looking for." Sir Alexander Fleming 1. Alexander Fleming biography 2. The discovery of Penicillin 3. Purification to a stable form and industrial scale production 4. How an antibiotic work 5. Antibiotic resistance 1. Alexander Fleming 1881 - 1955 Alexander Fleming was born in a lonely, rural part of Scotland as the seventh of eight siblings and half-siblings, his family worked an 800-acre farm far away from the nearest house. The Fleming children spent much of their time in the streams, valleys, and moors of the countryside. "We unconsciously learned a great deal from nature," said Fleming. When their father died, his eldest son took over the running of the farm. Another brother Tom had studied medicine and was opening a practice in London. Soon, inspired by their brother, four Fleming brothers and a sister were living together in London. Alec, as Alexander was called, had moved to London when he was around 14, and went to the Polytechnic School in Regent Street. Tom encouraged him to enter business. ...read more.


Ehrlich brought news of his treatment to London, where Fleming became one of the first physicians who used salvarsan. He did so with the new and difficult technique of intravenous injection. He soon developed such a busy practice he got the nickname "Private 606." When World War I broke out, most of the staff of the bacteriology lab had to go to France to set up a battlefield hospital lab. Here they saw infections which were so drastic that soldiers quickly died from them. Yet they were still simple infections which could not be treated. Fleming felt there must be something, a chemical like salvarsan, that could heal or help to fight microbe infection even in deep wounds. During the course of the war, Fleming made many innovations in treatment of wounded soldiers, but this was soon overshadowed by the work he did afterwards. Back in St. Mary's lab in the 1920s, Fleming searched for an effective antiseptic. Both of Fleming's discoveries happened by accident or because he was so blowzy. The first, lysozyme, was discovered after Fleming had sneezed, mucus from his nose dropped into a bacterium laced Petri dish. ...read more.


Florey was later given the higher honour of a peerage for his monumental work in making penicillin available to the public and saving millions of lives in World War II. Florey's work proceeded over the misgivings of Fleming, who believed that penicillin, for all its intrinsic worth, would not be able to be produced in sufficient quantities to have an appreciable effect in a war situation. Fleming was long a member of the Chelsea Arts Club, a private club for artists of all genres, founded in 1891 at the suggestion of the painter James McNeil Whistler. Fleming was admitted to the club after he made "germ paintings," in which he drew with a culture loop using spores of highly pigmented bacteria. The bacteria were invisible while he painted, but when cultured made bright colours. Serratia marcescens - red Chromobacterium violaceum -purple Micrococcus luteus - yellow Micrococcus varians - white Micrococcus roseus - pink Bacillus sp. - orange Fleming died in 1955 of a heart attack. He was buried as a national hero in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. His discovery of penicillin had changed the world of modern medicines by introducing the age of useful antibiotics. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work