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One day, a scientist, Alexander Flemming was growing bacteria on agar plates.
He went on holidays forgetting that he had left some open agar plates on the bench.
When he came back, he saw that mould was growing on some of the plates, but bacteria had not formed around the mould.. He concluded that the mould must be producing a substance that prevents the growth of bacteria. He called this penicillin. However he wasn't able to find a way to extract this mould.
A Team of scientists, lead by Howard Florey finally extracted the Penicillin in 1940, at the time of world war 2.
in 1945, he accepted the nobel prize with alexander Flemming and Ernst Chain. When accepting the prize he modestly stated, ‘All we did was to do some experiments and have the luck to hit on a substance with astonishing properties’.
Penicillin was so successful, population control became an issue for medical researchers. Howard later worked on contraception research. In honour of his contribution to medicine, he was knighted in 1944. His likeness appeared on an Australian $50 banknote and a suburb of Canberra was named after him.
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