Conducting science experiments is both fun and interesting way for kids to learn. Science is about discovery and it is also about the search. Incredible discoveries have come about because people immerse their learning with the scientific method to find something and during that process found something else. Penicillin is one of the greatest achievements in the history of man and it all came about my experimenting.
In 1999 Time Magazine named Alexander Fleming as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century and is quoted as writing that penicillin "Was a discovery that would change the course of history." The active ingredient in that mold, which Alexander Fleming named penicillin, turned out to be an infection-fighting agent of enormous potency. When it was finally recognized for what it was—the most efficacious life-saving drug in the world—penicillin would alter forever the treatment of bacterial infections. By the middle of the century, Fleming's discovery had spawned a huge pharmaceutical industry, churning out synthetic penicillin's that would conquer some of mankind's most ancient scourges, including syphilis, gangrene and tuberculosis"
To Make Penicillin with A Lemon
- A lemon
- Plastic Wrap or Aluminum Foil
- A Clean Empty Container
- A Magnifying Glass
How To Make Pencillin
Using a Lemon
- Place a lemon in an empty clean container.
- Add a few drops of water and cover the container very tight with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store it for a week or more in a dark place, like inside a kitchen cabinet.
- After the waiting time take the lemon out. Look at it closely with your magnifying glass.
What Happens to the Lemon
When you open the bag it would be a good idea to put on a pair of plastic gloves. You will see a soft, green mold growing on the lemon. Do not touch this mold or breathe it because tyou may be allergic to it
Why Does Mold Grow
On the Lemon
The green fuzzy mold on the lemons is actually a colony of millions of one cell ed plants growing together. They grow on food that is kept too long and make it change color and smell bad.
The mold that you have seen grown, which also grows on blue cheese, is the same mold that scientists make penicillin. Which is the medicine that fights harmful microbes when we are sick.
When you are all done with the examination of the lemon make sure you throw it away in the container and and wrap it back up. Throw it away in the nearest garbage can and wash your hands.
- Mold is not a plant but a fungus like mushrooms and toadstools. It grows on food and other organic matter, breaking it down into slime and extracting nutrients for growth.
- Alexander Fleming discovered that a common type of mold fungi kills germs. From this, he made a medicine called penicillin which has saved millions of lives over the last 80 years. Many other life-saving drugs are made from chemicals obtained from mold.
- Mold is one of nature’s cleaners. It breaks down dead organic material and recycles the nutrients back into the soil. Essentially it is in nearly every ecosystem in the world.
- Mold is something that most of us take for granted, and just think of it as something that
makes us have to throw the bread away or the cheese smell bad.
Fun Lemon Facts
- The lemon became known as a cure for scurvy which is a disease caused
by a lack of Vitamin C, which was common among sailors,soldiers and pirates.
a disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints.
- Lemon juice is also about 5 percent citric acid, making it a natural for slowing the browning or oxidation of fresh, raw foods: apples, avocados, bananas, and other fruits.
- Lemons are Rich in Bioflavonoids
- Lemon Juice Makes an Excellent Cleanser
- Lemons are Good for Your Skin
- California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
- Next time you have a sore throat, reach for a lemon!
Add the juice of one lemon to an equal amount of hot water for an anti-bacterial gargle.
More Science Experiments
- How To Make A SunDial
Children and nature, what better classroom can there be than the world outside. Learn how to tell time by making your own sundial.
- Science Experiments ~ Lemons Are More than Lemonade
A great idea for a science experiment. Did you know that with a lemon can you can write an invisible message, you can clean a penny and make it shiny and new and you can even make a lemon rocket.
- Science Experiments ~ How to Make Electricity
Experiments using lemons to create electricity and a galvanometer. Science fair ideas for kids of all ages.
davesnell from 5437 Cedarmint Drive, Charlotte, N.C. 28227 on February 01, 2012:
Nice topic. Thanks for expanding the knowledge.
Shari (author) from New York, NY on July 09, 2010:
Skye -Glad this Hub was helpful!
Skye on July 02, 2010:
Woot! I was trying to find a way to grow penicillin mold. Growing it on bread is unreliable because w/o a microscope it can be mistaken for Aspergillus.
Shari (author) from New York, NY on June 04, 2010:
Eileen Hughes - so nice to hear your comment. My science experiment Hubs were alot of fun to put together. Whats even better is that this info here was valuable to you! Really made my day full of sunshine:)
Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on June 03, 2010:
Really great hub I just love the way you present them very artistic.
I knew about mold and penicillin as my husband is allergic to it and did not realise until years ago that moldy cheese could affect him with this. thanks for very informative hub
Shari (author) from New York, NY on May 11, 2010:
WOW. . .maybe you can take a picture of him and we can make him the cover of this Hub!! That is so cool to have met someone that actually is part of history!! Thanks for stopping by and so happy you liked it!!! Onwards and upwards here we come!
shazwellyn on May 09, 2010:
With this information I am proud to feel like a lemon! lol. Brilliant! I can tell you something... I took a gentleman (in my volunteer ambulance to hospital) who in the second world war contracted sceptasemia. He told me that he was one of the first to trial penicillian and it saved his life.
Thanks for producing this hub, as always, a great presentation. Sharing the looove :)
Shari (author) from New York, NY on May 02, 2010:
entertainment. . then a great day you had. . one thing that is so very important to me having a great day is when I learn something new!! Thanks as always for cheering me on . I know I told you that already today but I wanted to make sure you really knew it!
sandy - like i just said to entertainmentplus. . I love learning a new things everyday . and it is kinda nice to know you did that for someone else! Thanks for coming by ;)
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on May 01, 2010:
Thanks for answering why mold grows on a lemon. I learned something new.
entertianmentplus from United States on May 01, 2010:
Good info wavegirl I learn something new today.Thanks for sharing.
Shari (author) from New York, NY on May 01, 2010:
dohn - like you the word cute is not my favorite but i have learned to live with it. . hey it could be worse! No weekend for me I have Hubs to get out. . my 60Dc is moving into the next phase and I am miles behind! Hoping i can find an experiment to morph me to the double digits I need to complete. . so great to see you . .i have so missed you!!!
drbj - once again you bring such a smile to my face when I read your comments! After I complete the morphing I will work on the $100 dollars bills. .till then you can come over to the money tree that is outside .. ha !
Thanks for the visit and you are one of my best cheerleaders. . will never forget that as I forge onwards. . .:))))
drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 30, 2010:
Wavegirl - you never cease to amaze me. First it was making electiricity from lemons, now making penicillin from lemons. Let me know when you write the hub on making $100 bills from lemons. Ho, ho.
Verrrrry interesting hub.
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on April 30, 2010:
Although I dislike the word, your photos are very "cute" Shari. You really know your lemons, you know that? Awesome facts. I really do learn more and more from you with every read, buddy! I hope you enjoy your weekend.