Sir Alexander Fleming was born in Lochfield, Scotland on August 6th, 1881. He attended St. Marys Medical School in London. It was in St. Marys, where Sir Alexander Fleming began his research.
Early in his medical life, Fleming became interested in the natural bacterial action of the blood and in antiseptics. He then served in World War I as the captain of the Medical Corps, as he continued his studies and started to work on antibacterial substances which would not be toxic to animal tissues. In 1921, he discovered in tissues and secretions an important bacteriolytic substance, which he named Lysozyme. About this time, he found sensitivity titration methods and assays in human blood and other body fluids, which he subsequently used for the titration methods of penicillin. In 1928, while working on influenza virus, he observed that mold had developed accidently on a culture plate and that the mold had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. He was inspired to future experiment and he found that a mold culture prevented growth of any bacteria, even when diluted 800 times. He named the active substance penicillin.
The biggest problem was producing enough penicillin. This was hard and expensive to accomplish. Florey and another researcher traveled to the U.S. to talk to chemical manufacturers and ended up in Peoria, Illinois. An agricultural research center there had developed excellent techniques of fermentation, a process needed for penicillin growth. The agriculture of Illinois proved useful, too. The nutrient base for the penicillin grown there was corn (maize), which was not commonly grown in Britain. The penicillin loved it, and yielded almost 500 times as much as it had before. More vigorous and productive strains of the mold were sought, and one of the best came from a rotting cantaloupe from a market.
It was first used 12 years later in World War II, and it saved millions of lives. After that, doctors started to prescribe it to their patients, and people were being cured of diseases that many people had died of in the years before. If Fleming had not made that discovery, millions and millions of lives would not have been saved and the population would have never grew.