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The History Of "Discovery Of Penicillin" - Sir Alexander Fleming
Even though accidents are bound to happen, but at last, Science believes in truth and the same was proved by Scottish Scientist and Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming during his discovery of Penicillin !

The discovery of Penicillin “wonder drug” is surrounded with much myth as like Flemings Fluff, which was drifted in through a window near Paddington station, as like with Newton’s apple, with Archimedes interrupted bath, James Watts Kettle on the hob, to the great scientific legends.

Sir Alexander Fleming was a bacteriologist and was young at the time when he accidentally discovered one of the greatest modern medicines in 1929. It is believed that one day Alexander left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria and noticed that a mold fallen by mistake in the culture plate had killed lot of bacteria. This was visible clear area on the plate. He later confirmed and was surprised to discover that the mold had restricted the growth of bacteria. He identified the fungus as Penicillium notatum, very similar to the one found in bread. This was the breakthrough in his life and this discovery was one of the greatest of all time in the field of medicine. On 1929 on February 14, Fleming introduced his by-product from the same mold and called it as penicillin a wonder drug to cure many bacterial infections.

The story took a new turn when this drug was found to be broad spectrum in nature. This drug was called as wonder drug as was able to cure all types of bacterial infections at that time. Though the story is that Fleming had streaked a colony of staphylococci for his research and went on leave for few days and at the time when he returned, he had discovered a new mold which was able to kill staphylococci by producing penicillin, what so ever, but this had been a great discovery and helped to save millions and billions of life at that time.

Later it was again by luck that the research in to penicillin further began. It was early 1930s a group of scientist from Oxford University lead by Howard Floery and Chain Ernst began to work on the properties and purification methods of naturally occurring antibacterial substances. A Dollar 5000 grant from Rockefeller Foundation was given as the discovery of Flemings was initiated. The isolation of active ingredients and use of methods like freeze drying helped to obtain a million times more potential active ingredient than the Flemings crude material. In 1939 treatments was given to mice and latter in 1942 the product was successfully tested on Humans. Large scale production of penicillin began by 1944 for civilian use.

Penicillin antibiotics are significant as they are the first drug that were potential to kill many previously serious diseases, as syphilis, staphylococcus infections, streptococci infections. Penicillin is today also widely used even though many types of bacteria are resistant. All Penicillin drugs and its derivatives fall under Beta Lactum group of antibiotics and are used in against Gram-positive organisms and in many other treatments of bacterial infections.

The commonly used term for penicillin is penicillin G that is benzylpenicillin,benzathine benzyl penicillin and phenoxymethylpenicillin. It has been observed that in few patients, reactions to penicillin happens . This reactions are hypersensitivity, diarrhoea,nausea, urticaria, rash and superinfeciton.

The mechanism of action is at the stage of cell wall development, when a Bacteria attempt to divide, the presence of penicillin hampers it completely and the cell end up in shedding their cell walls. The Beta Lactam antibiotic inhibits the formation of peptidoglycan cros links of bacterial cell wall. This action takes place by binding of B-lactam ring of penicillin to the enzyme DD transpeptidase. This affects cell wall development and results in the death of cell. After treatment with Penicillin, the Gram positive bacteria are called as protoplast when they completely lose their cell wall. While the Gram negative bacteria are called as spheroplasts and they does not lose their cell wall.

With the development in this subject, Chemist, John Sheehan completely synthesized Penicillin in 1957 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the first time. Sheehan spend 9 years (from 1948) in synthesizing penicillin chemically. Finally in 1957 he investigated the new methods for synthesis of peptides and related protecting groups. This synthesis was not completely suitable for Human use, but this new creations or new derivatives helps in developing new forms of penicillin with various other applications.

To discover anything great in science, it takes lot of hard work and dedication. Even though accidents are bound to happen, but at last, Science believes in truth and the same was proved by Scottish Scientist and Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming by discovering the "wonder drug" of modern medicine!
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