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The wonder drug, penicillin is extracted from
A. Penicillium notatum
B. Laminaria digitata
C. Aspergillus niger
D. None of the above

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Alexander Fleming, who discovered the drug penicillin named the it after the Latin name of the mould from which it was obtained.

Complete answer: The discovery of the drug penicillin is attributed to Sir Alexander Fleming.
The events that lead to this drug’s discovery goes as he returned to his laboratory one day in the month of September, 1928, and found a Petri dish containing a culture of the bacterium Staphylococcus with its lid displaced.
Interestingly, the dish had become contaminated with a bluish- green mould (Penicillium notatum).
Fleming eventually noticed that there was a clear ring surrounding the mold where the bacteria had been unable to grow. By his discovery of this mould and understanding its use, Fleming paved the path to create one of the most useful drugs in the history of medicine.
Although Fleming technically discovered the first antibiotic, still a lot of advanced work was to be done before penicillin could be commercialized.

Three important scientists - Howard Florey, Norman Heatley, and Ernst Chain famously performed the first in-depth and more centralized studies on the drug.
Penicillin prevents bacterial synthesis of peptidoglycan (an essential molecule needed to build the bacterial cell wall) and hence it weakens the bacterial cell wall and leads to the death of the bacteria.

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So, the correct answer is A. Penicillium notatum.

Note: In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, Fleming had warned that the overuse of penicillin might, one day, lead to bacterial resistance. This has since become a huge problem.