ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Penicillin. Computer graphic of a molecule of penicillin, an antibiotic drug. The molecule's atoms are colour-coded: carbon and nitrogen are blue, oxygen is red, hydrogen is yellow & sulphur is pink. Penicillin acts against bacteria by both killing them and inhibiting their growth. It does not act on those bacteria in their resting stage, but only those which are growing and reproducing. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 after he observed that Penicillium notatum mould prevented the growth of bacteria. Since then, many types of penicillins have been isolated and manufactured for medical use.
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