Tag Archives: Penicillin

Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

Sylvia R. Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes […]

Professionalism in crisis: Dr. Winkel and The Third Man

Paul Dakin London, United Kingdom   Film Forum: The Third Man Times of crisis may highlight the best and worst characteristics of people. Many of us yearn to be heroes and yet what is revealed under pressure may fall short of our ideal. Doctors share this human frailty. Is medical training and professionalism enough to […]

“Scarlet letters”—the depiction of scarlet fever in literature

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig 1 Image from page 291 of Diseases of children for nurses. by Robert Shelmerdine McCombs. 1911. Internet Archive. Scarlet fever, named for the erythematous skin rash that may accompany streptococcal infections (Fig 1), is often considered a disease of Victorian times. Associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality […]

Sir Alexander Fleming: A microbiologist at work and play

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   “Seemingly Simple Elegance” by Arwa Hadid. American Society for Microbiology Agar Art 2019 Professional. Undergraduate MLS student, Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI, United States i Sir Alexander Fleming had many talents. His discoveries of lysozyme in 1923 and in 1928 the antibiotic effect of the fungus Penicillium notatum are […]

Gilgamesh and medicine’s quest to conquer death

Anika Khan Karachi, Pakistan   The warrior king Gilgamesh grasping a lion in his left hand, and a snake in his right. (Assyrian palace relief on display in the Louvre) “O Uta-napishti, what should I do and where should I go? A thief has taken hold of my [flesh!] For there in my bed-chamber Death […]

Medicine and trust, behind bars

Gail Burke New Orleans, Louisiana, United States   The Little Prisoner. Goya, Francisco ca 1810-1812. Etching and Engraving on Woven Paper. Published in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Vol. XXII. Public Domain: Artstor through Michigan State University Library. Goya enjoyed great prestige as portrait painter of the Spanish elite. However, in his private work his focus was […]

St. Mary’s Hospital, birthplace of penicillin

Anabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands Kevin Brown London, England     Lithograph of St. Mary’s Hospital, 1853  On April 23, 2018, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge left the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London with their new baby boy. Fans of the Royals, who had been camping outside St. Mary’s for […]

Women changing medicine

Lesley Campbell Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia   Erna Stramf with World War I army soldiers and nurses This is my account of three generations of women doctors in my family who in different times and different places were subjected to persecution or at least discrimination because of their race, religion, and gender. The account is […]

Chance in the origins of antibiotics

William Kingston Dublin, Ireland   The discovery of antibiotics has been described as the “domestication of microorganisms” and ranks in importance with the domestication of animals as part of settled agriculture about 10,000 years ago. It depends upon antagonism between bacteria, which had been noticed as early as 1874, and Pasteur commented then that if […]

Lord Howard Florey and the use of visual art in medicine

Vincent Cracolici Chicago, Illinois, USA   Untitled work by Lord Howard Florey Art and Medicine: skills for creative problem solving Despite similar training, all physicians are not equally skilled in recognizing and solving clinical problems. Those who have been remarkably innovative in their specialty often share similar characteristics with one another. Though gifted in the […]