Penicillin, Howard Florey, Oxford discussed on Invention

Invention
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Fleming finally abandoned his quest but fortunately it was right about that time that a capable team at Oxford University including the researchers Howard Florey and Ernst chain or Chine they <hes> picked up on this research and they they kicked off the research project that would eventually break through on this <hes> and they're all these interesting story. So of course this is while World War Two is going on right so research conditions are not ideal and <hes> they're they're all all these stories about how they turned their lab at Oxford into this giant incubation center or sort of factory for mold like they employed all these lab assistants who were these women who had been referred to in some sources as the penicillin girls half and they would work too like they would work to grow the penicillin and buckets and tubs and basically every container that they could <hes> and eventually they did they were able to isolate and stabilize allies this compound so to quote from an Article <hes> from the American Chemical Society in Nineteen Forty Flory and that would be Howard Florey carried out vital experiments showing that penicillin could protect mice against infection from deadly STREPTOCOCCI then on February twelfth nineteen forty one a forty three year old policeman Albert Alexander became the first recipient of the Oxford penicillin he'd scratched the side of his mouth while pruning roses and developed a life <unk> threatening infection with huge abscesses affecting his is facing lungs penicillin was injected and within days he made a remarkable recovery well but unfortunately despite this recovery which lasted for a few days they ran out of the drug and Alexander eventually got worse again and he died and I was reading that they were so desperate to cure him that after Alexander urinated while on his antibiotic course they would collect the urine and try to extract the penicillin he he excreted again so that it could be re administered to him <hes> and I should mention also that the process that the Oxford team relied on to extract and purify the penicillin and the mold juice was led by another important biochemist a guy named Norman Heatley ugly but this case of Albert Alexander shows an obvious early problem they had which was the problem of scale they simply lacked the ability to make penicillin at the scale it that would be needed to treat even one person let alone the whole world <hes> the strain of mold that they were using didn't make enough of it and this led to the search for other species of the same fungal genus penicillin which would maybe they thought produced higher concentrations of the penicillin filter eight and I was reading an interesting article by the University of Michigan physician and Medical Historian Howard Markel that tells a really interesting story. I'd never heard about this. <hes> so the story goes like this apparently one of the assistance at the Oxford lab showed up for work one day in nineteen forty one with a cantaloupe that she'd bought at the market because it was covered in a weird looking golden mold which is great because this would be the one case where somebody is picking over the fresh produce to like find the moldy one <hes> the mold on this cantaloupe turned out to be a strain of penicillin called Penicillin Chris O._G._S._M.. Which markle says naturally produced at least about two hundred times as much penicillin as the original strain that they've been studying and <hes> then later markel writes the the same strain was subjected to mutagenic processes in the lab so like bombarding it with x rays and stuff to produce a mutated strain that would make up to a thousand times as much penicillin as the old school fleming mold so by nineteen forty one penicillin is on its way to becoming a viable medicine all right on that note? We're GONNA take a quick break. When we come back? We're going to look at the impact of penicillin and we're GONNA look at it <hes> in and I think a fun way by considering really interesting arresting. What if.

Coming up next