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Sir Alexander Fleming

penicillin discovery lysozyme

Fleming, Sir Alexander (1881–1955), British bacteriologist, discoverer of lysozyme (1922) and penicillin (1928). Lysozyme is an enzyme present in many body tissues and lethal to certain bacteria; its discovery prepared the way for that of antibiotics. His discovery of penicillin was largely accidental, and penicillin was developed as a therapeutic drug later, by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. All 3 scientists received the 1945 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for their work.

See also: Bacteriology; Penicillin.

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