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November 4, 1974


Author Affiliations

University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle

JAMA. 1974;230(5):753. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050073037

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All of us have accidents; few of us make significant discoveries. A drop of mucus from his running nose falling on a bacterial colony was the accident that led Fleming to his discovery of lysozyme, and, as if that weren't enough, it was Fleming's keenly "prepared mind" that later initiated the transmutation of a fungal contaminant on another bacterial culture into penicillin. This book is the record of a 1972 symposium commemorating Fleming's discovery of lysozyme in 1922. The contributions summarize both what is known of the biochemistry of lysozyme and what is unknown of its biology. It is ironic that our present knowledge of the structure of the enzymology of lysozyme exceeds that for almost any other enzyme, yet Fleming knew virtually all that is sure concerning lysozyme's functions. In a charming introductory essay, Lady Fleming quotes her husband "We shall hear more about lysozyme." We have and we