Medicine: New Magic Bullet

Last week it looked as if Britain's Professor Alexander Fleming had discovered the greatest therapeutic drug of all time. Not since penicillin became a wonder drug in 1941 has it made such news. A jam-packed session of the American Public Health Association's meeting in Manhattan heard the Public Health Service's Dr. John F. Mahoney announce that penicillin had apparently cured four cases of early syphilis. The penicillin treatment lasted eight days. The standard treatment takes 18 months. (The one-and five-day treatments with artificial fever and drugs, though sometimes dramatic, are still considered...