Alexander Fleming discovers pencillin - On this day in history


28 September 2016
28-September-Alexander_Fleming-15389.png Alexander Fleming
Alexander Fleming discovered pencillin on 28 September 1928

On this day in history, 1928: Alexander Fleming discovers pencillin. While we may have a love-hate relationship with antibiotics today, with the rise of the superbug, there is no getting away from the fact that the invention of antibiotics has saved – and continues to save – numerous lives every day.

When studying our ancestors’ death certificates, particularly the indirect line – those of the children who died of simple infant ailments, such as bacterial infections to do with teething and earache – we must feel particularly appreciative.

The story goes that Fleming discovered pencillin’s medical properties quite by chance, but scientists had been studying the possible antibacterial properties of mould for several decades before this. After Fleming’s breakthrough, it would be not be until the Second World War that it was used to treat patients en masse.

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