In article <3B053C9D.674736A3 at hate.spam.net>, Uncle Al says...
>>"R. I. Mateles" wrote:
>>>> Penicillin: A Paradigm for Biotechnology
>> Richard I. Mateles, Editor
>>The first large scale production of penicillin was done in a
>remarkably large number of British bedpans. When they finally went to
>submerged culture in vats the quintessential breakthrough in
>controlled addition of phenylacetic acid to make penicllin-G without
>killing the mold was made by a janitor tired of smelling cat piss
>(phenylacetic acid) everywhere.
>>That janitor worked for the USDA if I remember right. The Brits couldn't get
very much production and brought it over to the USDA for help. If I remember the
story right the biggest single improvement was getting a new strain from a
cantaloupe in the trash.