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The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (John MacRae Books)

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The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (John MacRae Books) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of the world's first antibiotic, a discovery that languished for a decadeuntil a team of Oxford scientists made it into the wonder drug that changed the modern world. Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led to the introduction of the most important family of drugs of the twentieth century. The development of penicillin was the last of four advances in a period of 150 year to deal effectively with infection. Almost at once antibiotics defeated major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis--and, not incidentally, helped to foster a sexual revolution as well as a medical one. Yet credit for penicillin is largely misplaced. We find out why almost everyone remembers Fleming and almost no one remembers Florey and Chain. Neither Fleming nor Florey and his associates ever made money from their achievements (though they did share a Noble Prize); instead it was the American labs that won patents on penicillin's manufacture and drew royalties from its sale. Why this happened, why it took fourteen years to develop penicillin, and how it was finally accomplished is a story of quirky individuals, medical prejudice, brilliant science, shoestring research, wartime adventures, the birth of big-time U.S. drug companies, and the passage of medicine from one era to the next.

Synopsis:

In this compelling history, Lax reveals the untold story of the discovery of penicillin--the first wonder drug--the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world.

Synopsis:

"Admirable, superbly researched . . . perhaps the most exciting tale of science since the apple dropped on Newton's head."

—Simon Winchester, The New York Times

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team at Oxford University headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led to the introduction of the most important family of drugs of the twentieth century.

Yet credit for penicillin is largely misplaced. Neither Fleming nor Florey and his associates ever made real money from their achievements; instead it was the American labs that won patents on penicillin's manufacture and drew royalties from its sale. Why this happened, why it took fourteen years to develop penicillin, and how it was finally done is a fascinating story of quirky individuals, missed opportunities, medical prejudice, brilliant science, shoestring research, wartime pressures, misplaced modesty, conflicts between mentors and their protégés, and the passage of medicine from one era to the next.

Synopsis:

The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed—major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team.

The Mold in Dr. Floreys Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.

About the Author

Eric Lax is the author of Woody Allen, A Biography and Life and Death on 10 West, both New York Times Notable Books. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Life, The Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire as well as many other magazines and newspapers. He lives with his wife and two sons in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805067903
Subtitle:
The Story of the Penicillin Miracle
Author:
Lax, Eric
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Pharmacology
Subject:
Bacteriology
Subject:
Penicillin
Subject:
Life Sciences - Bacteriology
Subject:
History
Subject:
Microbiology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
John MacRae Books
Series Volume:
PNW-RN-180
Publication Date:
20040412
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6-8 bandw illus.
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General

The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (John MacRae Books) Used Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805067903 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this compelling history, Lax reveals the untold story of the discovery of penicillin--the first wonder drug--the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Admirable, superbly researched . . . perhaps the most exciting tale of science since the apple dropped on Newton's head."

—Simon Winchester, The New York Times

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team at Oxford University headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led to the introduction of the most important family of drugs of the twentieth century.

Yet credit for penicillin is largely misplaced. Neither Fleming nor Florey and his associates ever made real money from their achievements; instead it was the American labs that won patents on penicillin's manufacture and drew royalties from its sale. Why this happened, why it took fourteen years to develop penicillin, and how it was finally done is a fascinating story of quirky individuals, missed opportunities, medical prejudice, brilliant science, shoestring research, wartime pressures, misplaced modesty, conflicts between mentors and their protégés, and the passage of medicine from one era to the next.

"Synopsis" by ,
The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed—major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team.

The Mold in Dr. Floreys Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.

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