Most important discovery by man

Essay by zxuniCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2013

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Throughout the centuries, there have been many scientific discoveries which have played an important role for the betterment of the world. Although there have also been some that have changed the world for the worse. Some are well-known and instantly come to mind when one is asked to name the most important scientific discoveries of all time, but there are other weighty discoveries that are more refined in nature - ones that are easily overlooked, regardless of the tremendous impact they may have had on the world. One of such discoveries is antibiotics which have revolutionized today's medicine. Perhaps my choice will match up with yours, or maybe it will be vastly different.

The discovery of antibiotics has proved to be a boon a boon to human welfare but some also have the opinion that they are the necessary evils. We do have Alexander Flemming to thank for this discovery back in 1928[1], when he forgot to clean up his workstation before going on holiday after which the golden age of antibiotics started.

Antibiotics are the chemical substances which are produced by various micro-organisms and other living systems and are capable of inhibiting the growth of or killing bacteria and other micro-organisms.

Before the discovery of antibiotics, nothing much could be done by anybody and deaths on large scale were claimed. For instance Streptococcus pyogenes was the cause of half of all post-birth deaths[2] and Staphylococcus aureus was fatal in 80% of infected wounds and the tuberculosis and pneumonia bacteria were famous killers. Now, discovery of antibiotics has enabled the medical line of work to treat these communicable diseases [3] together with some that were once life threatening. These are also given to cattle to increase weight gains and for better nourishment [4].

Antibiotics can be bacteriostatic (bacteria stopped from...