Trivia

Hard

What Significant 20th Century Pharmaceutical Discovery Sat Unused For Over A Decade?

Aspirin
LSD
Penicillin
Insulin

Answer: Penicillin

Penicillin has been hailed as one of the most significant pharmaceutical discoveries of the 20th century, and rightfully so, as the antibiotic has saved millions of lives the world over since it came into widespread use in the 1940s.

What’s curious about Penicillin is how many times it had been discovered by various researchers over the years and how long it sat after discovery in the 20th century before eventually becoming a widely used medicine. As far back as 1875, researchers like John Tyndall (1875) and Vincenzo Tiberio (1895) of the University of Naples had observed certain molds inhibited bacterial growth, although at the time they had no explanation for the mechanism and, because of poor understanding of disease vectors and transmission, very little energy was invested in studying the phenomenon as a medical tool.

Alexander Fleming is credited as the true discoverer of penicillin as he demonstrated conclusively that if the strain Penicillium rubens was grown in an appropriate substrate, it could be harvested and used as an antibiotic. Although he discovered this in 1928 and was initially quite enthusiastic about the potential medical application, further experiments convinced him that Penicillin wouldn’t last long enough in the human body to actually stave off an infection. He stopped studying it in 1931 only to resume studying it in 1934 and begin searching for a company that could purify and mass produce it.

Although there were several successful trials of Penicillin in the early 1940s, it wasn’t until 1945 that the chemical structure was determined by Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, and then mass produced. Alexander Fleming shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine that year with Ernst Boris Chain, split between the men for their roles in discovering and refining, respectively, what would prove to be a veritable miracle of modern medicine.

Trivia

Hard

The Fear Of Halloween Is Known As?

Trivia

Hard

Alcohol Is Banned As A Performance Enhancing Drug In Which Of These Sports?

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Most Widely Released Graphic Adventure Video Game Of All Time?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The Only Desktop Version Of Windows Codenamed After A God?

Trivia

Easy

What Early Artificial Sweetener Was Discovered By Accident?

Trivia

Hard

Grazing Cows Naturally Align Themselves With?

Trivia

Easy

Cats And Other Animals Used In Genetic Research Gain What Novel Ability?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Largest Irrigation Project In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

What Ubiquitous Office Application Was Originally Mac-Only?

Trivia

Hard

In 2013 A Swedish School Made A Class Focused On What Video Game Mandatory?