A Conversation for Sir Alexander Fleming
miltonwainwright Started conversation Oct 7, 2007
The statement that Alexander Fleming was working with the influenza virus when he discovered(not invented) penicillin is wrong. He was working with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. He later showed that penicillin filtrates could kill Bacillus influenza, which was then thought to cause influenza. The use of the term "virus" is confusing. Originally the word was used to mean poison and then infective agent. It was later used in the modern sense of a virus, as in the polio and influenza virus. The influenzea virus, in the modern sense, had not been discovered in 1928, when Fleming discovered penicillin.
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