Penicillin Essay, Research Paper

My topic for the top one hundred news stories of the century is Penicillin. I choose this subject because I felt I needed to prove that it is more than just an antibiotic or just a mold. In the following paragraphs I hope to make my point clear.

Penicillin itself can be used to treat many and a wide variety of diseases. It can be used for treatment of respiratory infections to sexually transmitted diseases. We can use it on humans and animals too. The following are some disease that can be treated by Penicillin: treatment of staphylococci, osteomyelitis, supprative arthritis, bronchitis, empyema, endocarditis, furuncles, laryngotrachetis, mastitis, meningitis, otitis media, peritonitis, supprative pneumonia, burns, septicema, sinustis, tonsillitus, wounds, hemolytic streptococci, pneumococci, anaerobic streptococci, gonococci, meningococci, anaerobic clostridia, diphtheria bacilli, anthrax organisms, and the spirochetes of syphilis. So as you can see Penicillin can be used on many different diseases.

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin. Sir Alexander Fleming lived from 1881 to 1955. Fleming was a British bacteriologist who in nineteen forty-five was the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for medicine. He shared the prize with Doctor Howard Florey and Doctor Ernest Chain, who received the prize for their work in purifying Penicillin. Sir Alexander Fleming was born on a farm in Lochfield, Scotland on August sixth eighteen eighty-one. At age thirteen he went to live with his brother, who practiced medicine, in London, England. He then got a job in a shipping company. His uncle died and left him some money and he used the money to go to medical school. He had no university diploma so he took a special exam and attended the medical school of St. Mary s Hospital. In World War One he served as an army doctor in France. So many men died during the war because of infected wounds. This made Fleming begin an intensive study of these wounds and proved that the antiseptics that the doctors used were almost as dangerous as the microbes in the infection. In 1922 he discovered that nasal mucus, tears, and some other secretions of the body could dissolve certain microbes with suprising speed. Sir Alexander Fleming s discovery of Penicillin came to him totally by luck. A particle of mold flew in his open laboratory window and landed on a microbial colony of staphylococcus and dissolved it. If Sir Alexander Fleming had not been paying attention to this dish he may have washed it out and gone about his work, but he noticed a dead ring around the colony. Imagine if he had gone about his work how many millions of people would be dead today. The mold was identified as Penicillium Notatum. The substance discharged by the mold he called Penicillin. All this was discovered in 1928. It was never purified until 1940 by two Oxford scientists, Doctor Howard Florey and Doctor Ernest Chain. They needed to purify it so as to use it in injections. In 1941 it was recognized that it should produced in large quantities when they cured a policeman with blood poisoning. Penicillin came just in time to save thousands of lives in World War Two, and millions thereafter. Penicillin is still widely used although many strains of bacteria have grown resistant to the drug. The discovery of Penicillin led to a whole new string of antibiotics. Some synthetic derivatives of Penicillin include ampicillin, methicillin, and oxacillin. These have become more widely used since unfortunately some bacteria have become resistant to Penicillin. In 1944 Sir Alexander Fleming received the title sir by being knighted. Sir Alexander Fleming died March eleventh 1955 and was honored with a burial in the crypt of Saint Paul s Cathedral. As a result of this one man s finding the average human life span has been enormously increased.

While all this was going on the world was not sitting still. A major event in world history was taking place. World War Two was going on and the United States was going to stay out of it but the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor. So they forced us to retaliate. The war made everything tough for everybody. People had to ration almost all products. This led a lot of people to go to the Black Market. During the war over 7,000,000 women stepped up to the workforce. In early 1942 the government rounded up 110,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. All of them were taken to ten internment camps know as relocation centers, in California, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Arkansas. Japanese Americans living in Hawaii, were they made up a third of the population were did not have to go to the camps. Here are some of the most important dates in the nineteen forty s, and they are as follows: September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland, two days later Great Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany; November 4, 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected to third term; August 9-12 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meet off New Foundland to sign the Atlantic Charter; December 7, 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor; December 8, 1941 United States declares war on Japan; December 11, 1941 Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; May 12, 1942 First mass slaughter of Jews by gas at Auschwitz; November 7, 1944 Franklin D Roosevelt is reelected to fourth term; April 12, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt dies at Warm Springs,Georgia. Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes president.

In conclusion, I hope I have made it clear why Penicillin was one of the top one hundred news stories of the century. If it were never discovered many of us would not be here today. Sir Alexander Fleming s discoveries have been a great help to us in our way of life and in life itself.

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