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What significant 20th century pharmaceutical discovery was unused for over a decade?



  Scientists synthesize penicillin in the laboratory
Stone Richards / Wikipedia

Answer: Penicillin

Penicillin was rightly praised as one of the most significant pharmaceutical discoveries of the 20th century saving millions of lives worldwide since it was born in was widely used in the 1

940s.

What is strange about penicillin is how many times it has been discovered over the years by different researchers and how long after its discovery in the 20th century it finally became a widely used medicine. As early as the 1870s, researchers such as John Tyndall (1875) and Vincenzo Tiberio (1895) from the University of Naples had observed that certain mold fungi inhibited bacterial growth, although at that time they had no explanation for the mechanism and poor conditions Understanding of the disease carriers and the transfer of very little energy has been invested in the study of the phenomenon as a medical tool.

The Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming is considered the true discoverer of penicillin, since he conclusively demonstrated that the strain Penicillium chrysogenum was bred in a pure culture, it could be harvested and used as an antibiotic. Although he discovered this in 1928 and was initially enthusiastic about the possible medical applications, further experiments convinced him that penicillin would not last long enough in the human body to actually ward off an infection. He stopped studying in 1931 to study it again in 1934, and was looking for a company that could purify and mass-produce it.

Although there were several successful experiments with penicillin in the early 1940s, it was not until 1945 that Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin's chemical structure was determined and then mass-produced. Alexander Fleming shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine this year with Ernst Boris Chain, who was divided among the men to find out what would prove to be a true miracle of modern medicine.


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