Essay on A Chemical That Works Against Life

1658 Words Oct 4th, 2014 7 Pages
A Chemical That Works Against Life

Antibiotics (sometimes called antibacterials) are a strong group of medicines that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites. The term antibiotics comes from the Greek terms “anti” (which means “against”) and “bios” (which means “life”) While our scientific knowledge of antibiotics has only recently been developed, the practical application of antibiotics has existed for centuries. Many ancient cultures, including the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks, used specially selected mold, plants and extracts to treat infections. The first known use was by the Chinese about 2,500 years ago, where they discovered that applying the moldy curd of soybeans to infections had certain benefits. It was considered so effective that it became a standard treatment at the time. In Europe during the Middle Ages, crude plant extracts and cheese curds were also used to fight infection. Although these cultures used antibiotics in primitive ways, the general principles of antibiotics were not understood until the twentieth century. One of the first pioneers in this field was Louis Pasteur (most famously known for the process of pasteurization). In 1877, he and his associate Robert Koch discovered that the growth of a disease-causing anthrax bacteria could be inhibited by a saprophytic bacteria. As time moved on, more research was done and more things were discovered. In 1928, Alexander Fleming made one of the most…

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