Fun Fact Friday: Penicillin

Did you know that the antibiotic penicillin was discovered by accident, when a scientist was cleaning his lab? It’s true!

In 1928, Alexander Fleming was soaking dirty Petri dishes in a disinfectant when he noticed that one of the moldy dishes that had previously held Staphylococcus (the origin of the “staph infection”) had its bacteria killed by the mold. Fleming set about studying the mold and how to recreate it.

Unfortunately, Fleming didn’t have the resources or the backing to do very much with his discovery, but Fleming did forward his findings to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and eventually, one man’s dirty dish became one of the greatest medical discoveries of our time!

Want to learn more about Fleming’s discovery? Check out Penicillin on Discovery Education Streaming!


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