Alexander Fleming Quotes

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One sometimes finds what one is not looking for
Alexander Fleming
Revolution? You’re an idiot. You don’t even know what that word means. Forget your precious Mao and Che and Fidel. If they’ve appeared on a T-shirt, they haven’t changed shit. You want revolution, look at Alexander Fleming. Penicillin transformed the world in ways Lenin and Washington only dreamt of. Now sit down and shut up, you autocratic frat boy. It’s adult swim.
Marcus Sakey (A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2))
Había una vez un pobre granjero escocés que escuchó un lamento en un pantano. Al aproximarse descubrió a un joven que poco a poco se ahogaba en el lodo y en el estiércol, así que sin pensarlo salvó al muchacho de una muerte espantosa. Al otro día, un acaudalado noble llegó a su humilde vivienda (era el padre del muchacho que había salvado). En señal de gratitud, este noble le ofreció al granjero pagar los estudios de su hijo en las mejores universidades. Muchos años después, el hijo del noble enfermó de pulmonía, pero Alexander Fleming le salvó la vida, era el hijo del granjero que se había graduado en la escuela médica del St. Mary´s Hospital en Londres y había inventado la penicilina. Por cierto, el hijo del noble era Winston Churchill. Favor con favor se paga.
Alejandro Llantada (El libro negro de la persuasión)
For the birth of something new, there has to be a happening. Newton saw an apple fall; James Watt watched a kettle boil; Rontgen fogged some photographic plates. And these people knew enough to translate ordinary happenings into something new...
Alexander Fleming
What the hell are you implying? Yes, I’ve slept around but I’m not Alexander Fleming’s petri dish.
Alexis Hall (How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives, #1))
The thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of the man who finally succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism. I hope this evil can be averted. —SIR ALEXANDER FLEMING, MD
Michael T. Osterholm (Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs)
I doubt that Fleming could have obtained a grant for the discovery of penicillin on that basis [a requirement for highly detailed research plans] because he could not have said, 'I propose to have an accident in a culture so that it will be spoiled by a mould falling on it, and I propose to recognize the possibility of extracting an antibiotic from this mould.
Hans Selye (From Dream To Discovery: On Being A Scientist)
It has been demonstrated that a species of penicillium produces in culture a very powerful antibacterial substance which affects different bacteria in different degrees. Generally speaking it may be said that the least sensitive bacteria are the Gram-negative bacilli, and the most susceptible are the pyogenic cocci ... In addition to its possible use in the treatment of bacterial infections penicillin is certainly useful... for its power of inhibiting unwanted microbes in bacterial cultures so that penicillin insensitive bacteria can readily be isolated.
Alexander Fleming
Actually, what we really need to remember about Galileo is that most of the people who use his name in argument could barely spell it, let alone tell us what actually happened to the man. His case is used over and over again because critics can't think of any other scientists who were mistreated by the Church. And in this instance they're right. There may have been some people in the scientific world who did not enjoy Church support and were even challenged by Catholicism but, sorry to disappoint, there weren't very many of them. The Church has been the handmaiden of science and scientific discovery, and those who refer to Galileo tend to forget that Louis Pasteur, the inventor of pasteurization, was a devout Catholic, as was Alexander Fleming, who gave us penicillin. Or Father Nicolaus Copernicus, who first proposed the theory of the earth revolving around the sun - this was precisely what Galileo stated, but Copernicus taught it as theory and not fact. Or Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven, who proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. In the field of acceleration, Fr. Giambattista Riccioli changed the way we understand that particular science; the father of modern Egyptology was Fr. Athanasius Kircher, and the Yugoslavian Fr. Roger Boscovich was the founder of modern atomic theory.
Michael Coren (Why Catholics are Right)
1945 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Alexander Fleming issued a prophetic warning. Penicillin, he advised, needed to be administered with care because the bacteria susceptible to it were likely to develop resistance. The selective pressure of so powerful a medicine would make it inevitable.
Frank M. Snowden III (Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present)
penicillin, which was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming and put to therapeutic medical uses from 1941. Penicillin had no relevance to TB specifically, but it opened the way to the development of a series of additional “magic bullets” and to the belief that TB could be eradicated globally by a spectacular technological fix. The first of these “wonder drugs” applicable to tuberculosis was the antibiotic streptomycin, which was discovered at Rutgers University by Selman Waksman in 1943.
Frank M. Snowden III (Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present)
Alexander Fleming’s response when he returned to London from vacation in September of 1928 was not that his petri dishes cultivating Staphylococcus aureus – a common bacterial source of human infection – were contaminated and needed to be discarded, but that they were contaminated and needed to be investigated.
Laurin Bellg (Near Death in the ICU: Stories from Patients Near Death and Why We Should Listen to Them)
All scientists, regardless of discipline, need to be prepared to confront the broadest consequences of our work—but we need to communicate its more detailed aspects as well. I was reminded of this at a recent lunch I attended with some of Silicon Valley’s greatest technology gurus. One of them said, “Give me ten to twenty million dollars and a team of smart people, and we can solve virtually any engineering challenge.” This person obviously knew a thing or two about solving technological problems—a long string of successes attested to that—but ironically, such an approach would not have produced the CRISPR-based gene-editing technology, which was inspired by curiosity-driven research into natural phenomena. The technology we ended up creating did not take anywhere near ten to twenty million dollars to develop, but it did require a thorough understanding of the chemistry and biology of bacterial adaptive immunity, a topic that may seem wholly unrelated to gene editing. This is but one example of the importance of fundamental research—the pursuit of science for the sake of understanding our natural world—and its relevance to developing new technologies. Nature, after all, has had a lot more time than humans to conduct experiments! If there’s one overarching point I hope you will take away from this book, it’s that humans need to keep exploring the world around us through open-ended scientific research. The wonders of penicillin would never have been discovered had Alexander Fleming not been conducting simple experiments with Staphylococci bacteria. Recombinant DNA research—the foundation for modern molecular biology—became possible only with the isolation of DNA-cutting and DNA-copying enzymes from gut- and heat-loving bacteria. Rapid DNA sequencing required experiments on the remarkable properties of bacteria from hot springs. And my colleagues and I would never have created a powerful gene-editing tool if we hadn’t tackled the much more fundamental question of how bacteria fight off viral infections.
Jennifer A. Doudna (A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution)
This effect has long been known. Alexander Fleming described it in his 1945 Nobel Prize lecture upon receiving the prize for the discovery of penicillin. “Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant,” Fleming warned.
Shawn Lawrence Otto (The War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It)
In 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming found that a mysterious antibacterial fungus had grown on a petri dish he’d forgotten to cover in his laboratory: he discovered penicillin by accident. Scientists have sought to harness the power of chance ever since. Modern drug discovery aims to amplify Fleming’s serendipitous circumstances a millionfold: pharmaceutical companies search through combinations of molecular compounds at random, hoping to find a hit.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
Revolution? You’re an idiot. You don’t even know what that word means. Forget your precious Mao and Che and Fidel. If they’ve appeared on a T-shirt, they haven’t changed shit. You want revolution, look at Alexander Fleming. Penicillin transformed the world in ways Lenin and Washington only dreamt of.
Marcus Sakey (A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2))
Ironically enough, it was Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, who first warned of bacterial resistance. He noted as early as 1929 in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology that numerous bacteria were already resistant to the drug he had discovered and by 1945 he warned in a New York Times interview that improper use of penicillin would inevitably lead to the development of resistant bacteria.
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.
Alexander Fleming
What would the world be like today if Tim Berners-Lee had never developed the World Wide Web? Or Alexander Fleming had never discovered penicillin and Frank Colton had not developed the oral contraceptive pill?
Ian Mortimer (Why Running Matters: Lessons in Life, Pain and Exhilaration – From 5K to the Marathon)
Indeed, antibiotic resistance, a fear predicted by Alexander Fleming when accepting his Nobel Prize for penicillin, is a huge concern for many infectious bacterial diseases in the twenty-first century and has been described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ and the greatest ‘global threat’ of our time.
Mary Dobson (Murderous Contagion: A Human History of Disease)