Medicine: New Penicillin

Far from being a single, simple drug, penicillin is a whole family of drugs with slightly differing properties that determine which one is best for a particular illness. Together they make up the royal family of antibiotics. Last week the British were saluting the arrival of a new penicillin prince, Penbritin,* which promises to carry the fight against groups of microbes that have defied all previous penicillins. If it fulfills its early promise, Penbritin will become the first-choice drug against several forms of food poisoning, certain types of respiratory infections and meningitis, and...

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