Sunday, June 28, 2015

battling penicillins : ancient & modern / battling medicines : social & warlike

Whom would make wartime penicillin ?

Henry Dawson's tiny ancient "natural" fungi factories with a few hundred million of years of experience under their belt ?

Or Howard Florey's big clumsy lumbering "synthetic" chemists' factories, built along lines more familiar to Heath Robinson or Rube Goldberg fans than to fans of the ever graceful Nijinski ?

To whom would wartime penicillin go to ?

Just to lightly injured front line Allied troops, but only after D-Day, with penicillin used for a secret weapon of war, as Florey and the American OSRD planned ?

Or to everyone in a war-shattered world who was dying for lack of it, as Dawson wanted ? Penicillin to be used both as a medical lifesaver and as tardy but tangible proof of the long claimed moral difference between Allies and Axis ?

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