History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Special Exhibition Label: 'Back from the Dead: Demystifying Antibioics' 04.11.2016 - 21.05.2017. Dunn School Case. Shelf 1.

The first penicillin extracted in Oxford came from a mould culture grown in flasks (4). Around 150 flasks of culture were required to produce small samples (1) of penicillin. The strength of penicillin preparations was measured by placing samples in cylinders in a culture dish (3) and recording the size of the ring of bacteria killed off. The Oxford group defined a standard unit of potency and distributed samples (2) to calibrate research elsewhere.

All from the Museum of the History of Science: 1 (inv. 16920 and 26401); 2 (inv. 25803); 3 (inv. 26967); 4 (inv. 23034 and 16508).

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