Alexander Fleming Quotes

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  • One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.

    Medicine   Dawn   World  
  • It has been demonstrated that a species of penicillium produces in culture a very powerful antibacterial substance which affects different bacteria in different degrees. Generally speaking it may be said that the least sensitive bacteria are the Gram-negative bacilli, and the most susceptible are the pyogenic cocci ... In addition to its possible use in the treatment of bacterial infections penicillin is certainly useful... for its power of inhibiting unwanted microbes in bacterial cultures so that penicillin insensitive bacteria can readily be isolated.

  • It was astonishing that for some considerable distance around the mould growth the staphococcal colonies were undergoing lysis. What had formerly been a well-grown colony was now a faint shadow of its former self...I was sufficiently interested to pursue the subject.

    Distance   Science   Self  
  • Nature makes penicillin; I just found it.

  • One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.

  • The unprepared mind cannot see the outstretched hand of opportunity.

  • If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish sherry can bring the dead back to life.

    Food   Wine   Cooking  
  • Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.

    Wine   People   Vineyards  
  • Penicillin sat on a shelf for ten years while I was called a quack.

    Dark   Years   Age  
  • It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body. The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.

    Men   Drug   Ignorant  
  • I play with microbes. There are, of course, many rules to this play...but when you have acquired knowledge and experience it is very pleasant to break the rules and to be able to find something nobody has thought of.

    Beverley Birch, Alexander Fleming (2002). “Alexander Fleming: Pioneer with Antibiotics”, Blackbirch PressInc
  • (The discovery of penicillin) was a triumph of accident, a fortunate occurrence which happened while I was working on a purely academic bacteriological problem.

  • It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject: the details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought, and perception of an individual.

  • In my first publication I might have claimed that I had come to the conclusion, as a result of serious study of the literature and deep thought, that valuable antibacterial substances were made by moulds and that I set out to investigate the problem. That would have been untrue and I preferred to tell the truth that penicillin started as a chance observation. My only merit is that I did not neglect the observation and that I pursued the subject as a bacteriologist. My publication in 1929 was the starting-point of the work of others who developed penicillin especially in the chemical field.

  • Suggested remedy for the common cold: A good gulp of whiskey at bedtime-it's not very scientific, but it helps.

  • For the birth of something new, there has to be a happening. Newton saw an apple fall; James Watt watched a kettle boil; Roentgen fogged some photographic plates. And these people knew enough to translate ordinary happenings into something new.

    Fall   Science   Fog  
  • I have been trying to point out that in our lives chance may have an astonishing influence and, if I may offer advice to the young laboratory worker, it would be this-never neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening. It may be-usually is, in fact-a false alarm that leads to nothing, but may on the other hand be the clue provided by fate to lead you to some important advance.

    "Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual". Book by Joseph Sambrook, Vol. 1, 153, 2001.
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We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 17 quotes from the Biologist Alexander Fleming, starting from August 6, 1881! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!
Alexander Fleming quotes about:

Alexander Fleming

  • Born: August 6, 1881
  • Died: March 11, 1955
  • Occupation: Biologist