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Alexander Fleming
Anood Aydha AlKatheeri

Copyright: Anood Aydha AlKatheeri Year: 2012 Abu Dhabi, UAE !

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About The Author

Anood Aydha Omar Al Katheeri was born in 1997; she is currently a student in Applied Technology High School in Abu Dhabi, UAE. When she was young she always dreamed of becoming a biography writer, especially about scientists and people who developed the world and left their inspirational lives for us. Alexander Fleming is one of her finest work; she thought that Alexander Fleming is the reason why most of us are living right now, because of the miracles that he discovered.

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-Chapter 1: Early Life
About Alexander Fleming. Education.

-Chapter 2: Career and Discoveries.

Early Career. Discovery of Lysozyme. Discovery of Penicillin.

-Chapter 3: After The Discovery.

Further Researches. Awards and Achievements.

-Chapter 4: Personal Life.

Marriages and Children. Death. Alexander Flemings Quotes

-Chapter5: After the Death.

Honors. Power of the Penicillin.

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It was a discovery that changed the whole world completely, made a very historical event that people will remember till the end, it saved millions and trillions of people from the threatening death and the terrifying diseases, yes, it is the Penicillin, the most powerful medicine on the planet ever discovered. Alexander Fleming never thought about it, never knew how good it will be, accidentally it was discovered. His curiosity and passion about bacteriology and biology in general led him to investigate, search, test and learn more about some of its deep little secrets; no one could ever stop him from discovering


enormous things. ! The life he was living, witnessing the deaths of his loved ones, his people and friends sat an alarm in his brain, gave him the encouragement he needed to change the way of living and try to make it a better place by just one medicine discovered.
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About Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming was born in 6th of August 1881, in a farm in Lochfield, Ayr, Scotland. He was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. (1) He is a third of the four children of Huge Fleming, who was a sheep farmer, from his second marriage to Grace Stirling Morton; she was also a farmer.


Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in southwest Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde

From Hugh Flemings first marriage he had four children. He was 59 at the time of his second marriage, and died when Alexander was seven. (1)

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Alexander Fleming attended several academies and schools; he attended Louden Moor School, and Darvel School. When he was 12, he earned a two-year scholarship and attended Kilmarnock Academy. After moving to London, he attended the Polytechnic. Alexander Fleming spent four years in a shipping office before entering St. Mary's Medical School in London University. He was 20 years old when he entered St. Mary's Medical School in London University in 1903; he inherited the money from his uncle, John Fleming. The reason behind attending Alexander Fleming the School is because his elder brother Tom, who was a physician, suggested his younger brother to follow the same career path (1). He earned a distinction in 1906, which qualified him to become a surgeon. (9). He began research at St. Mary's under Sir Almroth Wright, and gained M.B., B.S), with Gold Medal in 1908, and became a lecturer at St. Mary's until 1914.
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St Marys Hospital Medical School lecture theatre!

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Early Career
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In World War I, Fleming was serving in it as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Crops (8). He had witnessed the deaths of many soldiers and people from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. (1) He was troubled by his inability to care for infections in deep wounds, where bacteria could thrive beyond the reach of the era's antiseptics. (8) Fleming soon discovered that many of the wounded men being transported back from the Western Front were suffering from septicemia, tetanus and gangrene. He was aware that white blood corpuscles, left to them, killed an enormous number of microbes. Fleming realized that part of the answer was that there was a great deal of dead tissue around the wound, providing a good culture in which microbes could flourish. In September 1915, he published an article in The Lancet advising surgeons to remove as much dead tissue as possible from the area of wounds,(10) and the wounds can be kept clean with a mild saline solution.
(2) (7)

An injured soldier in World War I!

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Fleming researches showed that the traditional treatment of infected wounds with antiseptics was totally ineffective when used in the Casualty Clearing Station. He discovered that antiseptics did nothing to prevent gangrene in seriously injured soldiers. The reason for this was that the force of an explosion drove scraps of underclothing and other dirty objects deeply into the patient's tissues, where antiseptics were unable to reach. (10) Fleming and Almroth Wright realised that supporting the natural resources of the body would be more effective in the treatment of gangrene and the showed that a high concentration of saline solution would achieve this. However, they had great deal of difficulty in persuading the Royal Army Medical Corps to adopt this treatment and to use it to treat wounds. (10) Fleming remained convinced that he would eventually find a successful treatment for infected wounds. "Surrounded by all these infected wounds, by men who were suffering and dying without our being able to do anything to help them, I was consumed by a desire to discover, after all this struggling and waiting, something which would kill those microbes." (10)
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Chapter2: Career and Discoveries ! !

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Discovery Of Lysozyme
After the war Fleming returned to St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington and in 1921 Fleming was made assistant director of the Inoculation Department. (10) In November 1921, Fleming began searching for a better antibacterial agent, or treatment. He prepared a culture of bacteria and while he was searching for medical antibiotics, a drop of his mucus (contains natural lysozyme) fell into the culture. (11) A few weeks after that, Fleming observed and noticed something unusual; One of the plates was covered with goldenyellow colonies of bacteria. However, where a droplet of mucus from Fleming's nose had fallen two weeks earlier there were no bacteria at all. They had been wiped out, and that his mucus killed all the bacteria there. Fleming considered this study of lysosome the best work as a scientist. (12)


Fleming!examining!the!dishes! ! Chapter2: Career and Discoveries !

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Discovery Of Penicillin
After the discovery of lysozyme, Fleming didnt stop he continued researching. On the morning of September 3rd, 1928, (14) Professor Alexander Fleming was having a clear up of his cluttered laboratory. He was sorting through a number of glass plates that had previously been coated with staphylococcus bacteria as part of research Fleming was doing. (14) He found a pile of Petri dishes of Staphylococcus aurous that didnt look normal, and he then proceeded and opened each one and examined it before tossing it into the cleaning solution. One made him stop and say, "That's funny." (13) Fleming!examining!the!dishes!
Alexander Fleming saw that a fungus had contaminated

Staphylococcus aurous and a strange substance that is mold-like was also growing, and it was destroyed. (1) Fleming showed the contaminated culture to his former assistant Merlin Price, who reminded him, "That's how you discovered lysozyme (1) The mold
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was in the shape of a ring and the area around the ring seemed to be free of the bacteria staphylococcus. (14) Fleming named that mold he observed as a mold juice, but after several months for naming it that name, he then changed it and named it as Penicillin on the 7th of March 1929. (1) Fleming had a life long interest in ways of killing off bacteria and he concluded that some substance that had come from the mold had killed off the bacteria on the plate around the ring. (14) Fleming then investigated more about that anti-bacteria substance by testing is on some various animals and organisms such as such as staphylococci and many other Gram-positive pathogens that causes diseases such as scarlet fever, pneumonia, meningitis and diphtheria . (1) He then published his findings, conclusions, and Fleming!looking!through!the! his big discovery in the microscope!! British Journal of Experimental Pathology; however, little attention was paid to his
Chapter2: Career and Discoveries ! ! ! 12!

article, which made him to do more researches and investigations.


The Professor faced and saw many problems in the Penicillin, one of them is related to its treating speed, and its action appeared to be rather slow, penicillin would not be important in treating infection wounds. Fleming also became convinced that penicillin would not last long enough in the human body to kill bacteria effectively. (1)

Alexander Fleming working in his lab!

Chapter2: Career and Discoveries ! !

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Further Researches
Further research on the mold found that it could kill other bacteria and that it could be given to small animals without any side effects. However, within a year, Fleming had moved onto other medical issues. In 1940s Howard Florey and Ernst Chain and their team at Oxford University, isolated the bacteria-killing substance Penicillin. (14) The research team read Alexander Fleming's paper discussing the antibacterial effects of Penicillium notate mold. (15) They began intensive research in 1939 and were able to demonstrate penicillin's ability to kill infectious bacteria. (16)

Howard Florey is as linked to penicillin as Sir Alexander Fleming is. Howard Florey, who developed a way of mass producing penicillin, should be seen as being as important as Jenner, Koch, Pasteur and Lister in the history of medicine. (18)!

During the wars in Germany, the research team could not produce the quantities of penicillin needed for clinical trials on humans and turned to the
Chapter 3: After The Discovery ! ! ! 14!

United States for help. (16) They went to Peoria Lab and did some fermentation methods to increase the growth of fungal cultures, therefore producing amounts of penicillin that would be needed for thousands of soldiers.

On August 24, 1940, Florey and Chain reported their findings in the Lancet; the article electrified research groups around the world that were seeking cures for bacterial disease. (17) One July 9, 1941, Howard Florey and Norman Heatley, Oxford University Scientists came to the U.S. with a small but valuable package containing a small amount of penicillin to begin work. (16) In early January 1941 Florey was ready to test penicillin on humans. The first English patient to whom the drug was administered was a young woman whose
Chapter 3: After The Discovery ! !

Penicillin Fermentation in 1945!

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cancer was beyond treatment and who had agreed to test penicillins toxicity. (17), The sacrificing woman showed an alarming reaction- rising fever, which made the British team to search and they conclude that the impurities was in the drug, not the drug itself, caused the adverse reaction. (17) In February 1941, a policeman was the first patient with wound infection to be treated using the penicillin. The policemans condition at first improved with the penicillin therapy and then relapsed. (17) The penicillin supply had run out and the treatment was not yet completed. Chain and Florey thought that enough amount of penicilling should be brought to always complete a treatment. (17) To increase penicillin supplies Florey flew across the Atlantic in the beginning of July 1941. He went to the University of Pennsylvania where large-scale fermentation processes were being actively studied. By fall 1943, groups working at Oxford and at Merck had proposed
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Ernst Boris Chain was German-born British biochemist. With Howard Walter Florey he isolated and purified penicillin and performed the first clinical trials of the antibiotic. !

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two different structures for the atomic groups central to the penicillin molecule: One proposaladvanced by Chain and Abraham as well as by Robert Burns Woodward at Harvard University that held a four-membered beta-lactam ring lay at the heart of the penicillin molecule. (17) After 1957, when such a synthesis was created, fermentation continued to underlie the commercial production of penicillin and related antibiotics. But the structural knowledge gained in the war years proved invaluable in developing penicillin-like antibiotics after the war that could be administered more conveniently, were more effective, and had fewer side effects. (17)

3D-model of benzyl penicillin.!

Chapter 3: After The Discovery ! !

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Awards and Achievements

Fleming, Florey and Chain jointly received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945. According to the rules of the Nobel committee a maximum of three people may share the prize. Fleming's Nobel Prize medal was acquired by the National Museums of Scotland in 1989 and is on display after the museum re-opened in 2011.[1] Fleming was awarded the Hunterian Professorship by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Fleming was knighted in the year 1944. (1)!

Alexander!Flemings!Noble! Prize!Medal!


Chapter 3: After The Discovery !

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Marriages and Children

Alexander Fleming was married to Sarah McElroy, a nurse from Ireland, on 23 December 1915; they had only one child Robert was born in 1924 who went onto become a general medical practitioner. Sarah died in 1949. (1) On April 9, 1953 Fleming married Dr Amalia Voureka, a Greek colleague at St. Marys. She passed away in year 1986. (1)

Alexander!Fleming!and! Dr.Amalia!! Dr.!Amalia!!

Chapter 4: Personal Life ! !

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Death In March 11 1955 (3), Fleming died at his home in London because of a heart attack. He was buried at St Paul's Cathedral. (1)


Chapter 4: Personal Life !

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Alexander Fleming Quotes

One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.
Alexander Fleming (19)

I have been trying to point out that in our lives chance may have an astonishing influence and, if I may offer advice to the young laboratory worker, it would be this - never to neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening. Alexander Fleming (19) It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject; the details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to enterprise, thought, and perception of an individual. Alexander Fleming (19) (5) "When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionise all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer," Fleming would later say, "But I suppose that was exactly what I did."- Alexander Fleming (1)

Chapter 4: Personal Life ! !

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! In 1999, Time Magazine named Fleming one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century. (1) ! When 2000 was approaching, at least three large Swedish magazines ranked penicillin as the most important discovery of the millennium. (1) ! In 2002, Fleming was named in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons. (1) ! A statue of Alexander Fleming stands outside the main bullring in Madrid, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. (1) ! Flemingovo nmst is a square named after Fleming in the university area of the Dejvice community in Prague. (1) ! In mid-2009, Fleming was commemorated on a new series of banknotes, his image appears on the new issue. (1) ! 91006 Fleming, an asteroid in the Asteroid Belt, is named for Fleming. (1)

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Chapter 5: After the Death ! !

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The Power Of Penicillin

Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. (20) Penicillin is the first drug that was effective against many previously serious diseases, such as syphilis, and infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. (20) Common adverse drug reactions associated with use of the penicillins include diarrhoea, hypersensitivity, nausea, rash, neurotoxicity, urticaria, and superinfection. (20)


Chapter 5: After the Death ! !

Penicillin! nowadays!

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Alexander was a boy of an old farmer, never thought he will discover the secret of the world, but him being studying real hard, being a soldier in an Army, serving in world war I and witnessing the deaths of his loved-ones made him accidently discover penicillin. His discovery of penicillin "the greatest contribution medical science ever made to humanity. (4) "!Had changed the world of modern medicine by introducing the age of useful antibiotics; penicillin has saved, and is still saving, millions of people around the world. Sir Henry Harris said in 1998: "Without Fleming, no Chain; without Chain, no Florey; without Florey, no Heatley; without Heatley, no penicillin."(1) No one will ever forgot how great is Alexander Fleming; not only because of his discovery of penicillin was great, but everything he discovered beside that deserve to be thanked for,

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! 1. ! 2. Wikipedia.!(n.d).!Alexander)Fleming.!!Wikipedia.!10th!of!October!2012.!From:!! Brown,!K.!(n.d).)Sir)Alexander)Fleming.!Britannica!Online!Encyclopaedia.!10th!of!October! 2012.!From:! Fleming#toc280654!! Calder,!C.!(n.d).)Fleming,)Alexander.!Historical!Scientists.!11th!of!October!2012.!From:!,+Alexander!! (n.d).!Sir)Alexander)Fleming.!Encyclopedia!of!World!Biography.!2004.!Retrieved!October! 25,!2012!from!!! (n.d).!Alexander)Fleming)quotes.!Think!Exist.!11th!of!October!2012.!From:! advance/362412.html! n.a.!(n.d).!What!is!a!fun!fact!about!Alexander!Fleming?!Wiki!Answers.!12th!of!October! 2012.!From:!! "Sir Alexander Fleming - Biography". 30 Oct 2012! Soylent Communications. (2012). Alexander Fleming. NNBD. 30th of October 2012. From:! (n.d).)Alexander)Fleming.!Famous!People.!Retrieved!1st!of!November!2012.!From:!!

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! 10. Simkin,!J.!(29.10.2008).!Alexander)Fleming.!The!Education!Forum.!Retrieved!in!3rd!of! November!2012.!From:!!!

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11. (n.d).!Discovery)Of)Lysozyme.!Ocean!Aid!Products.!Retrieved!in!3rd!of!November!2012.! From:!!!! ! 12. (2009).)Alexander)Fleming.!Scottish!Science!Hall!Of!Fame.!Retrieved!in!3rd!of!November! 2012.!From:! fleming/discoveries.html! ! 13. (n.d)!People)and)Discoveries:)Fleming)Discovers)Penicillin.!Public!Broadcasting!Service.! Retrieved!in!the!3rd!of!November!2012.!From:!!! ! 14. (n.d).)Alexander)Fleming)and)Penicillin.!History!Learning!Site.!Retrieved!in!the!4th!of! November!2012.!From:!! ! 15. (n.d).)Howard)Florey.!Wikipedia.!Retrieved!in!4th!of!November!2012.!From:!!! ! 16. Bellis,!M.!(n.d).!The)History)Of)Penicillin.!!Inventors.!Retrieved!in!4th!of! November!2012.!From:!! ! 17. (n.d).!Howard)Walter)Florey)and)Ernst)Boris)Chain.!Chemical!Heritage!Foundation.! Retrieved!in!4th!of!November!2012.!From:! history/themes/pharmaceuticals/preventingYandYtreatingYinfectiousYdiseases/floreyY andYchain.aspx! ! 18. (n.d).!Howard)Florey.!History!Learning!Site.!Retrieved!in!6th!of!November!2012.!From:!! ! 19. (n.a).!(n.d).!Alexander)Fleming)Quotes.!Brainy!Quote.!Retrieved!in!8th!of!November!2012.! From:!! ! 20. (n.d).!Penicillin.!Wikipedia.!Retrieved!8th!of!November!2012.!From:!!

21. Images!from:!

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Learn about the man who discovered the most life-saving medicine in the world, Alexander Fleming. This biography includes most of his researches, experiments, investigations, famous quotes, why did he discover it, how it came out and published, and who continued his work.

By: Anood Aydha AlKatheeri


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