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penicillin by nick petersen
PenicillinBy Nick Petersen
  • Penicillin is among the most powerful and most primitive of antibiotics. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming and mass-produced by Howard Florey. Without it, most of the population of Europe and America would have succumbed to everyday diseases like typhoid fever, the flu, rheumatic fever, strep throat, and diarrhea. Penicillin has led to some of the lifesaving medicines we have today. Penicillin has a long history and many interesting facts within it’s history.



alexander fleming
Alexander Fleming
  • Alexander Fleming was born in Barvel, Scotland on August 6, 1881. He was a bacteriologist at St. Mary’s Hospital in London in 1928. In 1928 he was examining a Petri dish containing the bacteria Staphylococcus when he noticed that it had become contaminated with a mold spore. On further inspection he noted that all the bacteria around the mold had died. Due to lack of funding because of World War 1 he could not continue his work. He published his findings in 1929. He died on March 11, 1945.
how it changed our lives
How It Changed Our Lives
  • In 1943 penicillin was tested and proven to be the most effective antibacterial agent to date. It became available for wounded soldiers on D-Day. In 1940 penicillin was priceless, on July 1943 it became twenty dollars a shot, and in 1946, a year after it became available to the general public, it became fifty-five cents a shot. Without penicillin people today would be dying from simple sicknesses like the flu. . Penicillin has led to some of the lifesaving medicines we have today. Simple infections led to horrible diseases before penicillin. Before we begin to walk we are given penicillin shot to save us from dangerous bacteria. The population of every country would be smaller without penicillin.
howard florey
Howard Florey
  • In 1939 Dr. Howard Florey and three colleagues at Oxford University started researching and began to demonstrate penicillin’s ability to kill bacteria. On July 9th, 1941 Howard Florey and Norman Heatley came to the United States with a small sample of the fungus Penicillium Chrysogeum. They resumed their research at Peoria Labs. At the labs they began experimenting to see which species of fungus could produce the most penicillin. The kept the fungus in large vats and feed it corn steep liquor (a non alcoholic by- product of the wet milling process). An interesting fact to note was that the strain of fungus that produced the most penicillin was found on a moldy cantaloupe in a Peoria market. By 1940 Florey had converted penicillin into a dry, stable, brownpowder.
interesting facts
Interesting Facts
  • The strain of mold that produced the most penicillin was from a moldy cantaloupe.
  • There is a myth that a French medical student discovered penicillin before Alexander Fleming, but I have found no supporting details.
  • Two of Howard Florey's colleagues received the Nobel Prize for medicine, but Florey didn’t.
  • When Florey and Dr. Heatley came to America they had the the Petri dish in which Alexander Fleming found the penicillin mold.
penicillin timeline
Penicillin Timeline
  • 1928- Alexander Fleming discoveredthe penicillin mold.
  • 1929- Fleming published his findings.
  • 1939- Doctors Howard Florey and Norman Heatley began intensive research on penicillin and its antibacterial properties.
  • 1940- Florey converted penicillin into a dry, stable, brown powder.
  • July 9,1941- Florey and Heatley came to the U.S. with a small sample of penicillin to continue their research at Peoria Labs in Illinois.
  • November 26, 1941- Andrew J. Moyer succeeded in increasing the yield of penicillin ten times.
  • 1943- Penicillin was tested and proven to be the most effective antibacterial agent to date.
  • 1946- Penicillin became available to the general public for 55 cents a shot.
information bibliograghy
Information Bibliograghy
  • Sir Alexander Fleming-biography
  • Nobel
  • The History of Penicillin
      • The Penicillin Story
      • NCAUR
      • 18/02/05
image bibliography
Image Bibliography
  • Alexander Fleming
  • Penicillium Notatum
  • Penicillin spore
  • The Microbial World
  • 17/02/05
  • Fleming’s Lab Equipment
  • 17/02/05
  • Howard Florey
  • Dr. Simon Torok
  • 17/02/05