Medicine: Synthetic Penicillin?

If sleuthing doctors are right, chemists may soon know how to make penicillin synthetically—and penicillin is desperately scarce. This speculation popped out of a report to the American Chemical Society, in which Manhattan's Drs. Gustav J. Martin and C. Virginia Fisher observed that penicillin seems to act much like the acridine group of drugs which deprive bacteria of oxygen. The doctors even guessed that penicillin may turn out to be a member of this group which can be manufactured easily.

The acridines were the wonder drugs of World War I—but the doctors did...

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