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The Most Valuable Human Discoveries




Discovered: 1928 Occasionally, a mistake can result in the loss of one’s job, but on rare occasions, it can actually help save the world. Alexander Fleming, a British physician and scientist, had spent several months researching bacterial cultures. However, during one of his vacations, he inadvertently left the bacterial cultures on his laboratory table. Upon his return to the laboratory, the scientist observed that a fungus belonging to the Penicillium notatum strain had contaminated and destroyed his bacterial cultures. However, this mishap led to the discovery that this particular fungus possessed the ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This chance discovery ultimately led to the development of an antibiotic that has since saved countless lives. Fleming’s oversight was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in medicine.