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How Dirty Dishes And Stale Bread Saved The World

from: Doug Smith

Copyright 2005 by Doug Smith

Home Remedies - Facts or Quacks?

That's what I recently asked myself. Myths and legends often
have their basis in a grain of truth. So I wondered if home
remedies, alternative treatments, and folklore cures might
also be based on truth. A little research provided some
astounding results!

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 Is Born

The antibiotic effects of penicillin, and its cousin
cephalosporin, proved to be a great aid to the medical
community in fighting bacterial illnesses and diseases.
Over the years these molecules have been enhanced to help
them fight bacteria which had become resistant. Penicillin
is still saving lives today, simply because Al Fleming was a
slob. Thankfully, he was smart enough to notice his mistake
and understand what it meant.

Eating moldy bread isn't going to cure your illness. Instead,
you might need a shot of penicillin to fight the effects of
your ill-advised snack! In this case, however, this home
remedy discovery is definitely a fact.

(You may reuse this copyrighted article provided no content
is changed - other than line length - and the author's box is
intact. All links must be active hyperlinks or made active.)

Doug Smith is a Chemical Engineer and the webmaster of You get free & natural home
remedies for fungus, lice, acid reflux, cold sores, yeast & more
at Home Remedies
Stay up to date with our Home Remedy News Blog at Home Remedies News

About the Author

Doug Smith is a Chemical Engineer and the webmaster of You get free & natural home
remedies for fungus, lice, acid reflux, cold sores, yeast & more.


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