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Alexander Fleming's Accidental Discovery Of Penicillin

Alexander Fleming's Accidental Discovery Of Penicillin

Alexander Fleming, a professor of Bacteriology at St. Mary's Hospital in London, didn't do a great job of cleaning his laboratory before heading out on vacation in 1928. When Fleming came back, he began cleaning the petri dishes on which he was experimenting with bacteria. On one dish, however, he found a mold growth. In the area around the mold growth, there was no bacteria. There was bacteria in other parts of the petri dish, but the mold was sitting in an area alone. Fleming had a "eureka!" moment, as he had just accidentally discovered an antibiotic. Learn more about his world-changing discovery with the videos below.

This Is How Penicillin Works

The science behind Fleming's world-changing discovery.

Periodic Videos
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How Alexander Fleming Discovered Penicillin

It was a total accident.

British Pathé

The First Use Of Penicillin

It worked instantly, and the patient went on to live a long life.

Yale University
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