“in a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.”
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alexander fleming, a scottish researcher, is credited with the discovery of penicillin in 1928. at the time, fleming was experimenting with the influenza virus in the laboratory of the inoculation department at st. mary’s hospital in london.
often described as a careless lab technician, fleming returned from a two-week vacation to find that a mold had developed on an accidentally contaminated staphylococcus culture plate. upon examination of the mold, he noticed that the culture prevented the growth of staphylococci.
an article published by fleming in the british journal of experimental pathology in 1929 reads, “the staphylococcus colonies became transparent and were obviously undergoing lysis … the broth in which the mold had been grown at room temperature for one to two weeks had acquired marked inhibitory, bactericidal and bacteriolytic properties to many of the more common pathogenic bacteria.” fleming described the colony as a “fluffy white mass which rapidly increases in size and after a few days sporulates” and changes color from dark green to black to bright yellow.
even in the early experimentation stages, penicillin had no effect against gram-negative organisms but was effective against gram-positive bacteria.
published reports credit fleming as saying: “one sometimes finds what one is not looking for. when i woke up just after dawn on sept. 28, 1928, i certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. but i guess that was exactly what i did.” though fleming stopped studying penicillin in 1931, his research was continued and finished by howard flory and ernst chain, researchers at university of oxford who are credited with the development of penicillin for use as a medicine in mice.
Beck triad is a collection of three clinical signs associated with pericardial tamponade which is due to an excessive accumulation of fluid within the pericardial sac. the three signs are: low blood pressure (weak pulse or narrow pulse pressure) muffled heart sounds. raised jugular venous pressure.