How Dirty Dishes And Stale Bread Saved The World

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Home Remedies – Facts or Quacks?

That’s what I recently asked myself. Myths and legends are often based on ancient truths. So I wondered if home remedies, alternative treatments, and folklore cures might also be based on some past grain of truth. Here’s what I found.

He Was No Martha Stewart

In fact, Alexander Fleming had no housekeeping skills whatsoever. During the early 1900s, Petri dishes, beakers, and test tubes were piled around his lab like dirty dishes in a bachelor’s sink. That may be appropriate, because he was studying the growth of bacteria and molds. I’m sure he had no trouble getting either of those to grow in his lab. I’m not sure how he kept his experiments separate.

Cashing In On Some Bread

Fortunately, there was at least one experiment that got contaminated. He discovered that a mold growth called Penicillium (because the cells are pencil-shaped) had killed the bacteria he was culturing in one of his test dishes. The Penicillium mold is often found on bread. He was able to isolate the chemicals in the mold which killed the bacteria, which are now known as penicillins.

A Miracle Cure...

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