The Discovery of Penicillin

What is Penicillin?

Penicillin is a type of Fungus that was used to treat bacterial infections. Bacterial infections are when bacteria infect the cells in your body. Penicillin is also known as Penicillium Notatum. This is a type of mold that can stop the growth of bacteria! The discovery of this “mold juice” is what we are talking about today.

How was Penicillin Discovered?

The discovery of Penicillin was an accidental discovery! A Scottish Bacteriologist (a scientist who studies bacteria) named Sir Alexander Fleming (Nobel Prize Winner in 1945) came back from vacation. When he entered his lab, all of his Petri dishes that he was growing bacteria on had been contaminated or poisoned by Penicillium Notatum! Petri dishes are small round discs that scientists use to grow bacteria and observe them under the microscope. The Penicillin mold had completely stopped the growth of bacteria on the Petri dish! Dr. Fleming made this mold into a juice that could be used for humans. From then on, scientists have developed new types of Antibiotics.