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Independents' Day

Give credit where due for penicillin

I read with interest the timeline of medical landmarks since The Practitioner was first published (Practitioner 2008;252[1710]:5) but feel that one point needs clarification.

Although, as it states, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, he didn't know why it worked.

It was Professor Ronald Hare who was able to point out that the penicillin had worked only because of an unusual change of temperature at that time of year.

All over Europe, laboratories had tried to replicate Fleming's discovery but could not make penicillin work.

Ronald Hare's work showed how.

Dr George Yuille Caldwell, GP, Singapore

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