Year 1929 Event Research Proposal

Pages: 6 (2014 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Medicine

1929 Event

Penicillin is one of the first discovered and widely used antibiotics. It is made from the Penicillium mold. Antibiotics are substances that are released by bacteria and fungi into their environment. They provide a means of inhibiting other organisms (Bellis, 2009). Crude Penicillin got its first clinical application on January 9, 1929 at St. Mary's Hospital, in London. Penicillin proved to have antibacterial properties and started an antibiotic revolution in medicine. Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming noticed that bacteria wouldn't grow in the vicinity of Penicillium notatum fungus that had accidentally fallen into a preparation of staphylococcus bacteria. He found that the substance present in the mold spores prevented growth of the bacteria even when diluted 800 times. He renamed his mold juice to (World Chronology: 1929, 2009).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Proposal on Year 1929 Event Assignment

The use of penicillin today, along with other antibiotics is very common. Antibiotics are used in order to treat a number of very common diseases and to prevent the development of infection when the skin is broken. This is a fact that we all take for granted today. Many diseases and simple wounds that are so easily treated today were not always easy to treat because there were no antibiotics. Antibiotics are a relatively recent discovery and were not widely available for human use until the early 1940's. The notion of using fungal products, such as penicillin in order to produce medicine is a somewhat new one. Many folk remedies of the past that have included the use of fungi, but the incorporation of fungi into the remedy was unintentional. Many years ago, the Chinese would put moldy soybean curd on boils and other types of skin infections for treatment. Other cultures have been known to place warm earth, which contains molds and other fungi, on injuries. It is thought that there were antibiotics in the soybean curd and earth that helped treat these things. The discovery of penicillin has often been described as a miracle drug, and that is really what it has turned out to be. Before penicillin was discovered, death could occur in what today would seem like very trivial injuries and diseases. It could occur from minor wounds that became infected or from diseases such as Strep Throat (Penicillin, n.d.).

Many people are still around today only because penicillin saved their life, or the life of one of their family members. Penicillin's ability to cure people of bacterial infections that were once considered fatal has led to it being called a miracle drug. In the United States the number of deaths that were once caused by infectious bacterial diseases are not near what they were before any antibiotic chemicals were discovered (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006). Antibiotics are chemicals that are created as part of the natural life process of certain organisms. They can kill or stop the growth of disease-causing germs. In 1929, Alexander Fleming a researcher at St. Mary's Hospital in London wrote a paper on this chemical that he called penicillin. Even thought Dr. Fleming was never able to cleanse his samples of penicillin he was in fact the first person to report the news of its germ-killing ability. Other scientists such as Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and Norman Heatley went on to continue the work that Fleming had started, at Oxford University in 1938. They came up with different methods that were used for growing, extracting and purifying penicillin in order to make it a valuable drug (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006).

The main research and production of Penicillin was relocated to the United States in 1941. This was done in order to protect it from the war in England. At that time scientists began to work explore how to grow the mold proficiently in order to make penicillin in the large quantities. As the destruction of the war unfolded, so did the interest in penicillin on both sides of the Atlantic, because it was needed to treat the wounded soldiers (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006).

Being able to create the right environment in which to grow the Penicillium was the first step in being able to produce enough Penicillin so that it could be used as a drug. Research proved that Penicillium notatum grew best when it was in small shallow containers. It was also discovered that Penicillium needed lots of air in order to grow. At about this time scientists realized that vast deep fermentation tanks could be used as long as sterilized air was pumped continually into the tanks. It was found that production increased when the substance of corn steep liquor was put into the tanks. This liquor which contained concentrated nutrients increased the yield by 12-20 times over. This liquor which was formerly considered to be a waste material became a vital element in the large-scale production of penicillin (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006). In the beginning penicillin was made by using old dairy equipment. Hospital bedpans were often used in order to grow the mold. Liquid that contained the penicillin was drained from beneath the growing mold and filtered. The team needed drug companies in order to help it produce the large amounts of the drug that were needed to test patients. Companies in Britain were unable to help out because of the war, so Howard Florey and Norman Heatley went to the United States (Torok, 998).

Florey explained his penicillin-making methods to people in the U.S. At the time there was a Department of Agriculture laboratory that was looking for a new use for a thick liquid that was a by product from the corn-milling process. As soon as this liquid was utilized, 10 times more penicillin was able to be produced than before. By late 1943, mass production of the drug had started. This was only four years after the first mouse experiments and in spite of the war, a sign of Florey's persistence and determination. By the time the war ended, many laboratories were manufacturing the drug, including the Merck, Squibb and Pfizer companies in the U.S. And the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Australia. In fact, Australia was the first country that made the drug available for civilian use (Torok, 1998).

Scientists tried to find another strain of Penicillium that work well in the fermentation tanks. Army pilots tried to help by providing sections of soil from around the world in order to be tested for mold content. Residents in Peoria, Illinois would bring in household objects that had molded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in order to be tested. Penicillin research was being conducted at this facility. Laboratory staff was always on the look out for promising molds while doing their grocery shopping or cleaning out their refrigerators (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006).

In 1943 a laboratory worker by the name of Mary Hunt found an ordinary supermarket cantaloupe that was infected with a mold that had a golden color to it. This species of Penicillium known as Penicillium chrysogenum grew very well in a tank. It provided more than doubled the amount of penicillin that could be produced before. It was due to the discovery of the deep fermentation method along with the corn steep liquor and the discovery of Penicillin chrysogenum which made commercial production of penicillin possible as we know it today. Researchers continued to try and find higher-yielding Penicillium molds. They managed to produce higher yielding strains of Penicillin by exposing molds to x-rays and ultraviolet light. Penicillin works by preventing bacteria from forming the new cell walls it needs for survival. The bacterium dies because it cannot complete the process of division that produces two new offspring bacteria from a single parent cell (Penicillin: the first miracle drug, 2006).

The results that were discovered were so exciting that Florey knew that it was time to test the drug on humans. The first patient to be treated had been scratched by a rose thorn. His whole face, eyes and scalp had swollen. He had to have an eye removed and several abscesses drained. His remaining eye had been lanced in order to relieve the pain of the swelling. He was given a dose of penicillin, and within a day he began to recover. Unfortunately Florey's team didn't have enough of the drug to see the patient to a full recovery. He ended up having a re-lapse and died. Because of the awful experience, the team then concentrated their efforts on sick children, who did not require such large quantities (Torok, 1998).

In 1943 Florey travelled to North Africa in order to test the effects of penicillin on wounded soldiers. His efforts were seen as a miracle. Instead of having to amputate wounded limbs, the soldiers' wounds were cleaned and sewn up, and the patients were given penicillin. It was because of Florey and his team, that the drug was available to treat Allied troops by the end of World War II. It has since revolutionized medical science, saving millions of lives (Torok,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Year 1929 Event" Research Proposal in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Year 1929 Event.  (2009, December 4).  Retrieved February 25, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Year 1929 Event."  4 December 2009.  Web.  25 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Year 1929 Event."  December 4, 2009.  Accessed February 25, 2020.