Miracle Cure: The Story of Antibiotics

Milton Wainwright, Author, John Wainwright, Author, M. Wainwright, Author Wiley-Blackwell $34.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-631-16492-0
In this concise, specialized, workmanlike survey of the history of antibiotics, Wainwright, a lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England, discusses how such chemical materials were first discovered by science (6000 have been identified to date). Though used in folk medicine for centuries, antibiotics have been explored in the laboratory only during the past 60 years, and the author lavishes much attention on the pioneering efforts of Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, who isolated and cultivated penicillin in 1928. Also examined are less famous scientists who contributed to cures for tuberculosis and venereal disease, as well as recent developments in medications for cancer and AIDS. Wainwright speculates that vaccines (against malaria, leprosy, sleeping sickness, respiratory diseases et al.) may eventually achieve more widespread use and effectiveness, and predicts that new wonder drugs will supersede many of today's antibiotics. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/14/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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