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July 30, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(13):1487-1488. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310075023

It is generally recognized that, by his work, Fleming has saved more lives and perhaps has relieved more suffering than any other man who has ever lived. This, by itself, is enough to alter the history of the world. This sentiment appears in André Maurois' recent biography of Sir Alexander Fleming.1 Maurois begins his grand tour at a remote farm in Scotland where Fleming was born, thence on foot along miles of country road to school at Darvel, to London to live with a brother who advised Alex to go into medicine, thence to St. Mary's Hospital where he graduated, and in whose tiny, (and then) simple laboratory he was to remain the rest of his life, there to discover a substance in a mold that revolutionized the treatment of infectious diseases.

Many professors, practitioners, and students previously had seen unwanted molds on their petri dish cultures. Many of

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