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Emerging Trends - Antibiotics Throughout history the human race has sought to cure diseases Many methods have been attempted some good and some bad But by far nothing compares to the wonder drug antibiotics History repeats itself Because of this fact the history of bacterial infections and antibiotics is important The term antibiotics are derived from the Greek words anti and bios which mean against life Antibiotics are derived from living organisms usually bacteria or molds that kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth Antibiotics encarta The use of molds to help cure infections has been used for thousands of years The medical records from Egypt Mesopotamia and China note this fact Some of these records date back to 1500 BC Crude plant extracts as well as cheese mold was used for topical treatments for infections Antibiotics encarta William Roberts observed in 1874 a form of bacteria immunity He noticed that the mold Penicillium glaucum was immune to bacteria infection A few years later Louis Pasteur and Jules Francois Joubert noted that anthrax bacilli failed to grow if cultures became contaminated with airborne molds Antibiotics encarta However Sir Alexander Fleming made by far the biggest antibiotic discovery in 1928 He discovered the first true antibiotic penicillin Here is how the story goes Fleming was not the tidiest of workers He had left a Petri dish open on his bench It was already loaded with staphylococci staph Spores of fungal mould Penicillium notatum floated in through an open window and settled on a plate A little time later it was covered but for some unknown reason not put into the incubator Fleming promptly went off on a holiday leaving it on the bench On his return Fleming found the plate and noticed that the bacteria had not grown as they would have under normal summer conditions even outside the incubator and so Fleming deduced they had been inhibited or killed Later he showed that the substance
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