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No new thing under the sun (?): on claims to the discovery of Penicillin prior to 1928

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2017 by Gilbert Shama
Since penicillin came to be developed as an anti-bacterial chemotherapeutic agent during the Second World War numerous challenges to the status of Alexander Fleming as its discoverer have appeared both in print and in other formats. These assertions are examined here from the perspective of current views on Penicillium systematics and the wide array of secondary metabolites produced by this particular genus. The tendency to seek to credit a single individual for having made a particular discovery distorts the way by which discoveries are generally made. Alexander Fleming’s crucial contribution is here set in context against both earlier observations of microbial antagonism and the long-standing and culturally widespread practice of employing a variety of mouldy substrates to treat infections.

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

Journal of Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Citation

SHAMA, G., 2017. No new thing under the sun (?): on claims to the discovery of Penicillin prior to 1928. Journal of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, 3 (1), paper 5.

Publisher

iMedPub

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International (CC BY 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/3.0/

Acceptance date

21/03/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

Under License of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Language

en

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