Category Archives: History

The discovery and development of penicillin

In 1928, by chance, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, which was subsequently developed and saved millions from death by infectious disease. In this article in Microbiology Today, Kevin Brown recounts the story of this amazing antibiotic and tells something of the … Continue reading

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The Island of Fossil Viruses

discovermagazine.com It was just a matter of time before someone discovered that Madagascar is a museum for viruses. The discovery came when a team of American and English scientists perused the genome of the gray mouse lemur. Nestled among its … Continue reading

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Evolutionary history and phylogeography of human viruses

Understanding the evolutionary history of human viruses, along with the factors that have shaped their spatial distributions, is one of the most active areas of study in the field of microbial evolution. This reviews give an overview of our current … Continue reading

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Earliest known human TB found in 9000-year-old skeletons

The discovery of the earliest known cases of human tuberculosis (TB) in bones found submerged off the coast of Israel shows that the disease is 3000 years older than previously thought. Direct examination of this ancient DNA confirms the latest … Continue reading

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What have the Romans ever done for us?

According to new research, the spread of the Roman Empire through Europe could help explain why those living in its former colonies are more vulnerable to HIV. People once ruled by Rome are less likely to have a gene variant … Continue reading

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Joseph Lister

On June 17 1867, the British surgeon Joseph Lister was the first person to perform surgery under antiseptic conditions. Lister came from a prosperous Quaker family in Essex and graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of London. … Continue reading

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What really happened at Porton Down?

In the years during and after World War II, the Microbiological Research Establishment (MRE) at Porton Down was the UK Government’s centre for germ warfare research (or defence, depending on who you believe). There were two parts to the MRE, … Continue reading

Posted in Bacteria, Biology, Biotechnology, Bioterrorism, Environment, Health, History, Medicine, Microbiology, Science, Vaccines, Virology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments