The accident that changed the world – Allison Ramsey and Mary Staicu

The accident that changed the world – Allison Ramsey and Mary Staicu


London, 1928: a group of mold spores
surf a breeze through a lab. They drift onto a petri dish,
and when they land, they germinate a medical revolution. This lab belongs to Alexander Fleming,
a Scottish scientist investigating the properties
of infectious bacteria. At this time,
Fleming is away on vacation. When he returns, he finds
a colony of mold growing on a petri dish he’d forgotten to place in his incubator. And around this colony of mold
is a zone completely and unexpectedly
clear of bacteria. In studying this mysterious phenomenon, Fleming came to realize that the mold
was secreting some kind of compound that was killing the bacteria. The mold was a species
in the Penicillium genus, so Fleming dubbed
the antibacterial compound “penicillin.” What Fleming stumbled upon
was a microbial defense system. The penicillium mold
constantly produces penicillin in order to defend itself from threats, such as nearby bacterial colonies
that might consume its resources. Penicillin destroys
many types of bacteria by disrupting synthesis
of their cell walls. These walls get their strength
from a thick, protective mesh of sugars and amino acids, that are constantly being
broken down and rebuilt. Penicillin binds to one of the compounds
that weaves this mesh together and prevents the wall from being
reconstructed at a critical phase. Meanwhile, penicillin stimulates
the release of highly reactive molecules that cause additional damage. Eventually, the cell’s structure
breaks down completely. This two-pronged attack
is lethal to a wide range of bacteria, whether in petri-dishes,
our bodies, or elsewhere. It’s not, however,
harmful to our own cells, because those don’t have cell walls. For a decade or so
after Fleming’s discovery, penicillin remained
a laboratory curiosity. But during World War II, researchers figured out how to isolate
the active compound and grow the mold in larger quantities. They then went on to win
the Nobel Prize for their work. Teams at Oxford and several American
drug companies continued development, and within a few years
it was commercially available. Penicillin and similar compounds quickly
transformed the treatment of infections. For the time being, they remain some of the most important,
life-saving antibiotics used in medicine. However, the more we use any antibiotic,
the more bacteria evolve resistance to it. In the case of penicillin, some bacteria produce compounds
that can break down the key structure that interferes with cell wall synthesis. As antibiotic use has increased, more and more bacteria
have evolved this defense, making these antibiotics ineffective against a growing number
of bacterial infections. This means it’s essential that doctors
not overprescribe the drug. Meanwhile, 5 to 15% of patients
in developed countries self-identify as allergic to penicillin, making it the most commonly reported
drug allergy. However, the vast majority— over 90%—
of people who think they’re allergic
to penicillin actually are not. Why the misperception? Many patients acquire the allergy label
as children, when a rash appears after they’re treated
for an infection with penicillin or closely related drugs. The rash is often blamed on penicillin, while the more likely culprit
is the original infection, or a reaction between the infection
and the antibiotic. However, genuine penicillin allergies, where our immune systems
mistake penicillin for an attacker, do occur rarely
and can be very dangerous. So if you think you’re allergic
but don’t know for sure, your best bet is to visit an allergist. They’ll complete an evaluation
that’ll confirm whether or not you have the allergy. Even if you do have a penicillin allergy, your immune cells that react to the drug
may lose their ability to recognize it. In fact, about 80% of people
who are allergic to penicillin outgrow their allergy
within ten years. This is great news for people
who currently identify as allergic to penicillin; the drug may one day save their lives,
as it has done for so many others.

100 thoughts on “The accident that changed the world – Allison Ramsey and Mary Staicu”

  1. A psychopath goes into a store
    , he approaches the man at the counter and says:

    "Hey man, may I have an assault rifle, 3,000 rounds, a scope, and a box of penicillin?
    "

    "Sorry sir, I can't sell you penicillin without a prescription."

  2. This video was applauded 12 minutes ago and it all ready got dislikes!! Damn! Even the haters got their notifications turned on!!!

  3. Fleming gets a lot of credit, but you shouldn't forget the people that came before him like Semmelweis, Pasteur & Koch without whom Fleming may never have been able to discover penicillin since they proved in the first place that bacteria are a thing.

  4. These vehicles that we call bodies are worlds in constant wars. The fact that we're are conscious is probably an accident. Perhaps what we call conscious is how some of our internal microorganisms manipulate us into being; making decisions for us. We are simply organic robots to higher beings living within us on a micro level.

  5. People:Scientist's inventions are just fortunate accident,they don't do hardwork.
    Scientist:then why these accidents only happens with us?

  6. It is scary to think that there are super bacteria out there that is immune to basically everything. People, when your doctor gives you medicine, take all of it. There is a reason why he/she is doing that amount.

  7. When I gave my daughter amoxicillin, she threw up and broke out in hives, which went away not long after. She wasn't even sick, she was taking it prophylacticly after a tick bite while we waited for the test results. So I'm pretty sure she's allergic. But good to know that she may outgrow it.

  8. Tragic that you make such a wonderful video about the drug, but don’t include anything about drug resistance which is becoming a huge problem in our society.

    We people use it for farm animals and also for the smallest most unnecessary bacterial infections

  9. One of the few times I am part of the 1%

    Penicillin and related β-lactam antibiotics give me a severe rash, eczema, and upset stomach. But I can also enjoy cheeses that contain P. Camemberti (Camemberts, brie, cambozola) and P. Roqueforti (roquefort, Gorgonzola, almost all blue cheeses) without issue.

    And yes, this has been confirmed in adulthood for me.

    Usually the doctor has to go for Cephalospirn C and some other antibiotic to make it work.

  10. Phages are good to counteract the problem, they evolve themselves, unlike drugs, they are only targeted to a small range of bacteria, which means it won't attack helpful microbes, and of course, they don't attack human cells.

  11. Very informative! I haven't had penicillin in over 50 years after a bad reaction as a toddler ("turned red and blew up like a balloon" is how it was described) so it may be worth investigating if I'm allergic today.

  12. And most of the use of antibacterials is in livestock because, as a side-effect, it fattens up the animals.
    We are now getting sick from bacteria which had their antibacterial resistance bred into them long before we were exposed to them. Remember to thank your farmer for your frankenfood.

  13. It's surprising how many things happened due to accidents. Even gunpowder was invented accidentally, by alchemists who instead looked for the recipe of eternal life.

  14. When i see the title accident that change the world and watch video saw mold … i remember senku did the same so somehow i understand this video

  15. Got my medicinal chemistry exam in a few hours and I just got done studying Beta lactam antibiotics and various penicillins, what are the odds😂😂😂

  16. Thoroughly reccomend this book if you want to know a little more in depth. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/may/02/scienceandnature.highereducation1

  17. 3:14 I'm among the cursed 15%. They give you the stare, before giving you a hard to pronounce antibiotics, whose side effects are worser.

    But, that's mild compared to hives or anaphylaxis that would happen if I take penicillins.

  18. And the massive amount of money for research from our taxes have been diverted to mansion and yacht funds for the Shirkellies. ..

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