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I have been reading the book. Of course the discovery of penicillin led to the antibiotic revolution. The high producing strain of mold discovered on a moldy cantaloupe, bought by a lab technician from a Peoria fruit market, was pivotal. The lab technician was associated with the Northern Regional Laboratory of the USDA in Peoria. At the time the concentration of penicillin, an extracellular product, was about 50 parts per billion in the culture broth, lower than the concentration of gold in seawater. The development of industrial scale production of penicillin was due to the development of the Submerged Pure Culture Fermentation by a small company (at the time) called Pfizer. Pfizer was a small company producing citric acid, a food additive, by fermentation. Because of the high acidity the citric fermentation process did not present problems of invading microorganisms contaminating the large scale production. But penicillin production is at neutral pH which does not inhibit contamination, and because it is injectable the requirement of purity is absolute.
Pharmaceutical manufacture, on an industrial scale, under Absolute Purity Constraints was not known before chemical engineers at Pfizer developed submerged deep culture fermentation, using aerobic fermentations involving more than hundreds of thousands of gallons of broth under absolute conditions of purity. This was a new paradigm in the industry. After the development, Pfizer was transformed from a small regional operation to the international pharmaceutical giant it is today.
The onset of the antibiotic revolution also had an enormous economic impact, creating high-paying jobs and large profits in the pharmaceutical and health industries and, more importantly, leading to better health and higher productivity of the workers.
I am finding your book fascinating. I hope you sell a lot of books.
Raffi, Oak Park, Illinois