Tag Archives: Penicillin

The discoverers of aspirin

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Proc Royal Soc 1763, Salix Edmund Stone Willow bark. Source. In the short period between the years 1946-1950, three highly effective new drugs became available for clinical use in the newly established National Health Service. They were penicillin, streptomycin, and cortisone. Before this there were few […]

Memories of a West Virginia coal camp

Calvin Kunin Columbus, Ohio, United States   Coal town, Eastern Kentucky. Photo by Don Sniegowski. March 21, 2018. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 This is a brief account of my experience as a physician at a coal mining camp in rural West Virginia. It is based on my memory of events that took place almost […]

Selman Waksman, “father of antibiotics” and conquest of tuberculosis

[Dr. Selman Waksman, half-length portrait, facing left at work in the laboratory] / World Telegram & Sun photo by Roger Higgins. 1953. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Selman Abraham Waksman came to the United States in 1910 and worked for a few years on a farm in New Jersey. Born in a rural […]

Book Review: Architects of Structural Biology

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Book Cover Modern twenty-first-century high-technology medicine, which we now take for granted, was only made possible by remarkable advances in the physical and biological sciences of the twentieth century. In Architects of Structural Biology, the contributions of four scientific giants and Nobel laureates—Lawrence Bragg, Max Perutz, John Kendrew, […]

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

Sylvia 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 […]