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Breaking The Mould: The Story Of Penicillin -

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THEME MUSIC

FOOTSTEPS This is a momentous day. work together, All of you have agreed to to develop this remarkable new drug. sat around a single table, We have never before

with a single purpose in mind. with the help of all of you, But this is wartime and this drug, in our armoury. could become a most potent weapon who has not lost a relative, There's not one of us here to infection. a friend or a loved one are places of dread. The septic wards in our hospitals From the mother in childbirth,

from the slightest graze, a child whose blood has been poisoned these terrible wards. too many people never leave This is why the Government realises

to the war effort that penicillin is imperative and to medical advance, in general. After considerable discussion, the Prime Minister, involving, I might add, every resource required we have decided to devote

to move this forward. of this Government, As a representative I would like to thank the man

for this moment, who has worked tirelessly the man who discovered penicillin,

Professor Alexander Fleming. Hear, hear. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Very kind. Thank you, thank you very much. I shut down the lift today. 'July 7th, 1938.

but the books just won't balance. Not a popular move,

and back on form. Dr Chain has returned recovered over test tubes. He had a fight today with Gardener what they are missing. Germans just don't know clearly justified bringing Our success with lysozyme together. scientists of different disciplines afford to hold onto people. It'll be a shame if I can't

Question is - what next?' CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC

It's been tuned. I got somebody in.

They haven't done a bad job. (LAUGHS) (PLAYS CHORDS) in Berlin. I used to play this with my sister No, no. Come. I've got spades for hands. with your hands, But look what you can do when it comes to dissection.

PIANO SCALE but chemistry fought through. I nearly made this my career, CLASSICAL PIANO PIECE PLINK, PLINK, PLINK (BOTH LAUGH)

after lysozyme? So, what's next, then, pursuing antibacterials. Well, I have been thinking about

What about this? about Papacostas and Gate. There's an article in here can destroy bacteria. Describes how fungi and yeast

we might have another look at it. I thought You tell me. You think fungi releases enzymes?

Yes, why not? from a chemistry point of view It's virgin territory possibilities for pathology. and of course, it has fascinating nature creates disease. You see, I've always thought she's provided the antidote. Somewhere, It speaks to you here.

Hello, dear. I'm sorry I'm late. I have to tell you the sad news. "My dear Ethel, We've lost little John." Oh, God. "Meningococcal infection."

He was the same age as Paq. Oh, your poor sister.

Can't we get home? to get away right now. Well, it'd be difficult war is around the corner. And anyway, it looks like

We might get stuck there.

Sometimes I wish I'd never left. Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. doing something. Finally I could get back into You have a purpose now, Ethel. Being a doctor, I had a purpose. You're a fine mother. You're bringing up your children.

You don't listen.

You never listen. Florey? How are you finding the sherry, Oh, a fine Amontillado. and drink it while we still could. Thought we'd bring it up

"Splendid." I presume I'm meant to say Would you prefer beer? Mellanby. Florey. Good to see you. last night. Well, Dr Chain was at High Table Likes the sound of his own voice. Bit of a character, isn't he? at least he's got something to say. Well, in Germany? Isn't he worried about his family over here with him. Extraordinary he didn't bring them

It's hard to get them here. He doesn't talk about it much, but yes, I think he's rather worried. Hm. Ah, this is Norman Heatley. Sorry, I'm late. Heatley, this is Professor Treadwell, Edward Mellanby of the Medical Research Council. Let's get you a drink. How do you do, Professor? Are you gatecrashing the party, Dr Heatley? Ah... Oh, it's my fault.

Thought he might like to meet some people. Ah, the microchemist. Yes, I've heard about you. Nothing bad, I hope. You know, you're part of Florey's great plan, pathology mixed with chemistry. (LAUGHS) Well, we won't get anywhere without it. Florey's brought together an extraordinary array of young scientists, all different disciplines, and they're beginning to get some interesting results. Yes. I read your article on lysozyme.

An antiseptic found in tears and about a hundred names underneath it. Is that the modern approach? Why don't you and your team of collaborators contact something useful for once? How about an antidote to fascism? Any thoughts on what you're going to do next? Well... How about poisonous gases and their effects?

It would still a march in the European universities. Sulphonamides. That's another thought. But sulphonamides are toxic. Have you seen their side effects? Gases is a possibility, but Chain and I are thinking of looking into antibacterials. Didn't you do that with lysozyme? Interesting research, but a dead end clinically. You know, the aboriginals always said

you can cure wounds with fungus found on the shady side of trees. Oh, for God's sake, Florey. They've been around longer than us. And they're not exactly known for scientific advances. Dirt is the enemy. If Lister proved nothing else, he proved that. The thing is, some fungi do work against bacteria. Superficial infection, maybe. There's mould that Chain's been researching. The old duffers on the MRC won't give you a grant for cultivating mushrooms.

No, find something that sounds progressive and modern. Do that. I'll find you the money. 'September 15th, 1938. Florey says that Mellanby will give us money, if we work on poisonous gases.

We have to pursue antibacterials!' CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC 'I found a paper by a Professor Alexander Fleming from 1929, which documents a mould he called penicillin.

He saw its potential, but just could not extract enough of the active agent from the mould,

to be really effective.

This will be our challenge.' (LAUGHS)

There. How does that look for starters? ANNOUNCER: 'The Prime Minister at Downing.' 'This morning, the British ambassador at Berlin handed the German government a final note,

stating that unless we heard from them by 11:00, that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now, that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently, this country is at war with Germany.'

I should not help the pharmacists with Germany's illnesses! Ah! Florey, come and see.

I need more pie dishes. There is nothing left in the storeroom. Chain. I have done the tests with the proteins and it isn't found there, which means it isn't an enzyme. Also, it's very unstable.

Its antibacterial effect vanishes, when I try to extract it. Mellanby has contacts at the Home Office. Give me your mother's address. He might be able to help.

Mellanby. Can't you see it? Hinged against the great forces of the Nazi army? The problem is that it's taking so long to grow

and when it has, I can only extract miniscule amounts. But it's potent, Florey. It's worth giving Mellanby a shot.

Do not believe that you can fight a disease without killing the cause, without annihilating the passengers. Hitler, 1920. The solution to the Jewish question. Do not think that you can fight a race in tuberculosis, without taking care that the people are free of the cause of tuberculosis.

It's pure evil. My dear Florey.

Not one part of you, not the English part, not the Australian part, not one tiny iota of you, has any idea what we were up against. Well, I haven't really thought about it.

Hi, I wanted to give you all the news. By the skin of its teeth, the Dunn School is staying open for research and for teaching, so classes will continue as normal. I've agreed to run a blood transfusion team from here and we'll be consulting with the Government on poisonous gases. Research budgets, though, are going to be very tight

and I'm afraid the application for intestinal work has been refused. So, Dr Gardener, Dr Jennings, I know that puts you out of a job, but I do want to try to get you onto something else. As most of you will have heard, Dr Chain is working on an antibacterial penicillin. I want to go all out on penicillin. I'm going to apply for a large research grant.

Are the MRC behind it? And when we get the money, we'll need bacteriologists, so both of you, please, if you wouldn't mind staying put for the time being. You can count me in. Charles? Of course. Heatley, could I have a word?

What are you going to do, now that you can't go to Copenhagen? Three years' funding out the window and that's me scuppered. Well, not necessarily. How about you stay here, working on a different research project? Penicillin? Fleming gave up on it, 'cause he couldn't extract enough penicillin from the mould juice it grows in and Chain's having the same problem. It doesn't help he hasn't got enough of it to work with.

The cultures are growing abysmally slowly. And that's where I'd come in. It suits your skills perfectly. I don't mean to be difficult, but I think Dr Chain has a rather more singular approach than I do. Well, how about this? You work beside him, but for me. You report to me. You'll tell Dr Chain?

Yeah, don't worry. I'll square it with him. Be good to have you on board. Thank you. 'Dear Mellanby, I enclose some proposals that I think may be profited to be carried out by the research team at the Dunn School. They pertain to penicillin. Professor Fleming proved that penicillin kills bacteria in a test tube,

amongst others, those bacteria that caused gangrene, meningitis and septicaemia. However, he did not test penicillin's efficacy in a living organism. I hope that you in the MRC will recognise the huge potential for such a project. I know that you do not approve of our direction, but we feel that we're closer than any of our predecessors to unlocking penicillin's secrets.'

Yeast extract cut the fermentation time in half to 10 days and keeping the broth warm helps the yield. Possibly this is building. It's either the heating that goes or us. But we're very short of containers.

Did you do that? My father used to mend china.

Ideally, we need fat ceramic vessels about this size. No money, I'm afraid. Mellanby hasn't come through with funding. You have to keep scavenging. How are we doing with extraction? One milligram. Well, Mellanby won't like it, but how does this sound? Since the last Rockefeller grant in 1936, the Dunn School has thrived.

25 scientific papers have been published. Maybe we have published. Don't argue with Margaret about grammar. I just take after my English teacher, Miss Beckett. Used to drum it into us. Avoid the passive voice, girls. It's splitting hairs, really. No, no. Wouldn't want to disappoint her.

Since the last Rockefeller grant in 1936, the Dunn School has thrived. We have published 25 scientific papers and advanced the relationship between biochemistry and pathology. That is the position in 1939 we have arrived at.

Uh. It's just you can't have a proposition at the end of a sentence.

Miss Beckett would be turning in her grave. A full 360 degrees. We are confident that the extraction of penicillin can be carried out easily and rapidly. Well, what the eye doesn't see. SWING MUSIC

It's so unstable. Heatley, come over here.

I'm busy at the moment, Doctor. I need you. Now! Professor Florey has asked me to assay the penicillin. That's what I intend to do. (HISSES) He left it behind overnight in his drying machine.

A whole week of supply ruined! I asked Heatley to help me to build it - he refused. On your say so, apparently! I've been testing the strength of penicillin, Professor. It's true I gave Heatley free reign. So you admit you had an agreement, but you didn't tell me. I want everyone to play to their strengths. You call this a strength? To go behind my back? I won't be treated like this!

It was the only way we'd have the faintest chance of actually achieving anything! The MRC want me to cut back on research, I've received no response from Rockefeller about money and you can't do the one thing you're being paid to do, which is to extract the bloody stuff! I didn't realise you were under so much pressure. We need more volume, we've got a grain of sand, we need a beach.

Let's break it down. Are we missing something? So, I know it's stable in the neutral and the basic solution. I add alkaline...

..to match the acidic mixture. Back to Newton. Test it. PH7? Exactly. Seems the active penicillin moved from the water into the ether. And? Three milligrams.

Well, that's an improvement. How about a basic back extraction? Chemical yoyo. Penicillin enters one solution, then quickly into another. What do you mean? If penicillin can be extracted from a neutral bath of water into ether, we've just seen it - it can, I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to transfer it out of the ether into a water-made alkaline. That way, it should retain greater potency. It won't work!

Try it. CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC

100 milligrams.

It's not possible. Beginner's luck. Heatley.

Well done. KNOCK, KNOCK Yes? What would you say, if I told you we had 100 milligrams of your precious penicillin freeze-dried and ready to work with?

I wouldn't believe you. You little beauty. Look! Well, all in all, this hasn't been a bad day. The Americans have got back to us. ?1,250 per year for up to five years, to develop penicillin.

That's very, very good news. Well done. CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC Up till now, we pretty much followed in Fleming's footsteps.

His idea had potential for human use, but he never actually tried it on live animals.

Gardener, have you got the test batches? About 110,000,000 organisms should kill a mouse of average weight. Here we go.

In an hour, we'll give Groups A and B the penicillin.

So I'm going to inject mice in Group A with 5mg of penicillin solution, Group B will receive 10mg and the other four are controls.

Group B - they'll receive the 10mg only. Group A - we'll give another four more injections, spread out over the next 10 hours.

'8:30. One of the control mice has begun to look a bit peaky. 10pm.

Both mice in Group A are well. Group B pair - one is in good condition,

cleaning itself and eating a biscuit. The four controls are the worse for wear. Their breathing is laboured and they're looking very sick.

The first control mouse dies at 11:08pm, May 25th.

All the penicillin mice seem well.' Professor, come and see. It's extraordinary. The penicillin mice are as right as rain. Isn't it incredible? Looks quite promising.

Dr Jennings? It's Professor Florey. Come in, if you want to see a miracle. No, I was caught by a Home Guard chap. I thought he was going to lock me up. You should have told him, "I have seen the world change."

Yesterday morning, put my underpants on back to front. Must of been a good omen, huh? So we'll repeat the experiment tomorrow and find out what's the minimum dose needed, how often it needs to be given, that's the next step. And let's triple the dose of streptococci. All the control mice are dead, but the others are healthy and well.

What's the matter?

RADIO: And to all the brave men, who in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready and continue ready to give life and all for their native land. Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our army

and so many men whose loved ones have passed, too, an agonising week should not blind us to the fact that what happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster. We are told, Sir, that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles. This has often been thought of before.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary, for years, if necessary, alone.

We're going to need 2,000 litres of mould juice. We're only managing 100 litres a week at the moment, Professor. You're going to have to double that, or quadruple it if you can. And if we estimate that human beings are 3,000 times heavier than mice,

that's the amount we require. Humans? It's obvious what we have to do now, we have to set up clinical trials. Where? At the Radcliffe Infirmary. I know people there. And who is going to do them? We are. But, Florey, we're research scientists, not doctors. We still don't fully understand what kind of impurities there are in penicillin. Have you discussed this with the MRC?

Not yet. We're sitting on something that could save lives. We've all seen the casualty list from France. I'm going to talk to Hugh Cairns at the Radcliffe Infirmary, and in the meantime, Garner, you're quite right, let's find out everything there is to know about penicillin. Let's not get caught out. Chain, we must have that chemical structure and purer penicillin. We need to find out everything about penicillin's antibacterial strength,

and Heatley, more than anything, we need volume.

Excuse me. I'm looking for Doctor Fletcher. Certainly.

You've drawn the short straw. All junior doctors have to do a six month stint. Did Doctor Cairns tell you why I'm here? You need a volunteer. We're doing some research into an antibacterial. I'm afraid I can't pay at all. Not a problem. I'd be keen to be involved in such a worthy project, certainly.

Doctor! We come in next week?

"Two scientists from Wellcome came along last week. Henry Dale had twisted their arm. The bore off some penicillin with them, carried out a few experiments at their plant, and then decided we weren't a priority. It hasn't stopped the team.

Heatley's coming up with ever more ingenious schemes to increase output.

Chain and Abrahams have been working on purification. They've managed to separate crude penicillin in its ether, resulting in several distinct bands

according to their absorbent properties.

For all that, and the Rockefeller money, we're still working hand-to-mouth. The Lancet article is ready to publish. We hope that presenting our outstanding results will convince a pharmaceutical company to come on board and help move this along."

You've put me in a very difficult position. But you know that. Sorry. I've always been your ally, Florey. When older members of the MRC have complained about your methods and your approach, I have supported you. And I'm very grateful. But this - how could you credit the Rockefeller Foundation before us? I credited you both equally. Unfortunately, Lancet's subs cut it about. How convenient. Why would they do that? Probably because they thought the Rockefeller ought to get prominence.

The Rockefeller gave us ?1,250 for penicillin, and they're paying for Heatley's fellowship, which is 300. Your funding totals 800 for the whole school. But you didn't even tell me that you'd gone to the Americans. I asked you to consult me on every application.

And if I had, would you have let me apply?

It's beside the point. I don't think so.

I didn't like going behind your back, I didn't think I had a choice. I needed the money. We may have a clinical breakthrough on our hands.

We've shown that penicillin works in vivo, and the MRC has been linked to it every step of the way. A clinical breakthrough, you say? We're setting up trials at the Radcliffe. Florey, are you sure that's sensible? If they're successful, we can get a manufacturer on board and mass produce penicillin. You know, your predecessor, Dreyer, lost all credibility because he carried out clinical tests

and failed to interpret the results properly. He rushed into publication. We won't do that. We won't publish anything until we've checked and checked. I know what I'm doing, Mellanby. We've done countless control tests on mice, we've made a huge leap forward on purification. Yes, but these are human beings we're talking about, Florey, not laboratory mice. So for God's sake, be careful.

What are your plans for the weekend, love? I'm working Sunday. But we can go see Mum on Tuesday.

For lunch, you mean? Yeah, why not? Damn. Are you all right? Yeah, just caught myself, that's all. Is it bad? No, it's nothing. Let me have a look. I've got something I can put on that. Don't fuss, Janet. Albert Alexander, scratched himself on a rose thorn.

He came in three weeks ago with a bad streptococcal infection.

I drained the abscess, started him on Prontosil. It damaged his liver. Apart from that, it had no effect. Septicaemia has taken hold, and there's nothing else we can do. Thanks for coming so quickly, but we've been pretty busy. There was an air raid on Elswig last night.

We're getting their overflow. I think we've got a candidate. He's been in here for months. Why so long? He's naturally a strong chap, built like an ox. Tried the Prontosil on him. Didn't work. The last two days, he's taken a turn for the worse. I'd say he has 48 hours.

So, we're going to give him 200mg of penicillin, followed by 100mg every three hours. Go ahead, Doctor Fletcher.

Why aren't you at the hospital? How is he? Has something happened? Professor? For God's sake, Florey! He's getting better.

He's getting better? He's getting better! PLAYS PIANO What's happened? He's no longer discharging pus, the swelling's going down, he even squeezed my hand. This is good news.

Splendid. Love? Hello, Janet.

You look bloody awful.

Good morning. How are you feeling, Albert? I walked down the corridor this afternoon, getting my appetite back.

I can taste this, not that I'd necessarily want to. Sounds like you're on the mend. This is your last dose. Good. Better for being attached to these things. When do you think I can go home, Doctor Fletcher? Janet's desperate to get me kitted out for the wedding. When I say so, not before. Don't worry, I'll talk to Janet. Well, here goes. Your final dose of penicillin.

We must bombard the pharmaceutical companies. They shouldn't have a moment's peace until they come and see what we are doing here. Penicillin works, it works. I agree with you, but we've got to be careful. I've heard from a friend of mine in Switzerland. The Lancet article got picked up on.

More than it did here. By the Germans. What do you mean?

There's a suggestion, apparently, that they may use their Swiss contacts to request a sample of the mould from England. But this is terrible. It just means we've got to watch our step, that's all. We have to be thoroughly sure of our people, need to vet any new employees, keep an eye on anyone coming through the door at the Dunn School. And we mustn't send mould out to anyone. The Germans have the most sophisticated chemical industry in Europe.

Sulphonamides came from Germany. TELEPHONE RINGS Yes? It's happened overnight and this morning. The septicaemia's come back. We're going to need more penicillin. If we give him 500 mg now, and another 500 every hour... We don't have any more. Completely out. He's going to die, isn't he? After all this. KNOCK ON DOOR You did everything you could.

We found out something from Alexander's death.

We have to keep the course of penicillin running longer than we thought. We won't make that mistake again. Again? Are you sure that's sensible?

We miscalculated, I know that,

but it doesn't mean we have to stop what we're doing. Next time, we experiment on a child. Smaller, less penicillin required. And next time, we get it right. His name is John Cox, he's only four-and-a-half. Johnny contracted septicaemia from a measle spot in his eye that became infected. Give him half the dose we gave Alexander, 100mg every hour for two doses, 50 for four, and 25 every hour on the hour. There are no guarantees, Mr Cox. The last patient we tried this drug on didn't make it. You aren't promising a miracle - I understand that. You have to give my boy this chance.

Daddy. Oh, son. You all right? Good boy. I was so worried about you. You've been very poorly, but you're getting better now. They used to be made of wood. But then someone said, "Plastic, let's try that." The theory followed through, see, progress. You have a go. Thank you. My son's in America. He won't miss it. It's not the boat I'm thanking you for. "Paq and Ego flourishing. Paquita is a great credit to yours and Ethel's careful upbringing." Listen to this. New Haven Journal and Courier. "Amongst the evacuees, Paquita Florey, ten, travelled to New Haven with her five-year-old brother, their mother and father remaining in England. On route to the community centre, with great delight,

she read a comic book purchased in Montreal while bother, Charles, amused himself by pulling on the bell cord. Asked if she liked the comic, Paquita said, "Oh, yes, you see, Mother and Father never allow me to read them at home." Well, she seems to be bearing up. They're safe. And they're with John and Lucia. Things couldn't have worked out any better. Floss, they're looking for doctors at Bristol Royal Infirmary. I thought I would apply.

When the children were here, it made sense to stay together. But now, I have nothing to do all day. Well, you could have gone with them. In my opinion, you should have done.

I wanted to do something useful for the war effort. I still do. Most of the work is very physically demanding. Floss, I was sick seven years ago. I'm perfectly capable of working.

You just use it as an excuse. I want a separation.

I won't have it. That's your pride talking, nothing else. What we have together, it's not what we hoped it would be,

is it? I won't separate. That's my last word on it. Can I help you? Is this the Dunn School of Pathology? I'm afraid we had to take down the sign. Confuse Jerry. I was looking for Professor Florey. I do hope he's here. The trains these days from London to Oxford. Bit difficult. I'll go and see. Who shall I say...? Alexander Fleming. I thought he was dead. Where has he come from? London, apparently.

Still works at St Mary's. He's been working on the sulphonamides for the past five years. You've been keeping track of him? Of course. I'm a great admirer of his work. Are we going to show him what we're doing? We're at such a delicate stage. I agree with Heatley. We can't let anyone see this. What, so we just turn him away?

Come on, he's not just anyone, he discovered penicillin. We can't keep it from him. The culture vessels are stored at a constant temperature for two weeks before they're harvested. And this is where we seed and grow the mould. This is Ruth and Meagan, our penicillin girls. Hello. Hello.

Over here's the back extraction machine. Extraction. Yes, Heatley and Chain cracked that. Chemists, of course. Got to be good for something. And over here is the result of all our work. That's from 1,000 gallons of mould juice.

You've turned the school into a factory? Well, the pharmaceutical companies won't come on board until we prove that penicillin works, and we can't do that unless we've got a lot of it. Ingenious. Thanks.

Well, he was chatty. What did he come for, anyway? To see his old penicillin. And to weep with envy because we have made it work.

Doctor Fletcher. Professor Florey, I think you should come to the hospital. Johnny's taken a turn for the worse. It's too late. At 1am he vomited and had convulsions.

His temperature rose to 106. He slipped into unconsciousness and died ten minutes ago. Oh, God. It doesn't make sense.

We treated him for double the time we treated Alexander. We couldn't have poisoned him, could we? Build up of impurities in the blood? I think it would have presented earlier. We haven't given him penicillin for a whole week.

It might not be anything to do with the penicillin at all.

An infection like that weakens the body tremendously, and he's only a child. Mr Cox. I'm sorry. When can I take my boy home? We need Johnny for a little longer. We'd like to take a look inside him and find out why he died. I don't understand.

It's called a post-mortem, Mr Cox. We open him up surgically. In situations like this, when we're not sure what killed him. You mean you want to cut him open? Yes. That's what we want to do. We need to know if penicillin had anything to do with Johnny's death. You think the drug you gave him killed him?

I hope not. Unless we perform a post-mortem, we won't know. It's incredibly important that we find out. Millions of people could benefit from this drug. Please, Mr Cox.

Mr Cox? We've had the results. Johnny didn't die from the infection. Or because of the penicillin. He died from a ruptured carotid artery. What does that mean? A blood vessel burst, causing internal bleeding. Although we didn't know it, I'm afraid he was on borrowed time.

Keep going. With the drug. Don't let Jerry get their hands on it. Keep it for our boys.

Thank you.

Why don't we treat more patients but with less acute illnesses? Burns, minor infections, that sort of thing. Build up a catalogue of success, you mean? Exactly. Spread our risk. That way we'll get the pharmaceutical companies on board. Yes. Would the Radcliffe help us? I don't see why not. Of course they will. Penicillin cured Johnny Cox.

I don't see how it cured him. Last time I checked, he was stone dead. It cured his infection. We shall patent the process. Penicillin is natural. It belongs to everyone. That's an old-fashioned point of view. The world is progressing. You call it progress to make money out of science? Not for us, for this place. Think of what the Dunn School could do with proper funding. What if a Swiss patents it, or even worse, a German?

The British would have to pay for something

discovered here. And all because we are so busy being English gentlemen. And neither of us ever are. What do you think, Heatley? Well, if you want my honest opinion, I'd sleep less well at night if we did. Well, in that case we shouldn't patent. We wouldn't want to lose out on Heatley's beauty sleep. Oh, this Henry Dale at the Royal Society. His pharmaceutical contact says no. They can't help on output. Why?

It sounded so promising. They've been bombed, apparently. Struggling to stay open. Dale couldn't even persuade them to come down and see what we're doing. I'll up the output. Sanders has had a cracking idea for an extraction machine. As long as you don't mind spreading out, Great. 'Sanders is a genius. The apparatus he has constructed, with only a little help from myself, includes a bronze letterbox, a couple of aquarium pumps,

and a six-foot bathtub. Dustbins have been turned into steam-heated stills. The only piece of real scientific equipment we've used

are the centrifuges. This means we can just about produce enough penicillin to set up a ward the Radcliffe. The Professor intends to start with minor infections

and then see how we go.' I'm sorry, supper's not quite ready. How's your head cold? What? How's your head cold? Better. And it hasn't gone to my chest. Good. I brought you something.

We're almost ready to set up the penicillin ward at the Radcliffe. It needs a doctor to run it. It fits. What? It fits you.

That's looking much better, Bob. We treated 11 serious illnesses and 140 localised infections. Has some fascinating case studies. We're drafting a paper. At this rate the isolation wards will be closed, and I'll be out of a job. Hardly. There's never enough of it. I thought Professor Florey was talking to the Americans. He's in contact with the Department of Agriculture in Illinois, the idea is they'll help to ferment it, but I imagine the Americans are concentrating more on building weapons. (GROANS) Help us, please. Help us. Advanced pneumonia. Our supplies are low, is there any more coming? There's no point in starting something we can't finish. Help my girl, please. All these people are being treated. They all have localised infections. Your daughter's very ill. I'm afraid we just don't have the means to help her. If they're not as bad, you could take some of the medicine and give it to her. It's not as simple as that. If we could do something, we would. What shall I do with her? Isolation ward. There's nowhere else. Please! Help us.

(SOBS) I'm so sorry. I will explain, penicillin doesn't dissolve bacteria cells like an enzyme. It doesn't kill them like an antiseptic. It stops the microbes from dividing

as they must do to reproduce.

Because they can't divide, they swell, elongate, and finally die. We have discovered that the penicillin molecule has components of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. Fascinating. And you say it's effective against... Gangrene, meningitis, septicaemia. Gangrene?

I've never heard of anything that's effective against gangrene. Does this mean you have a full breakdown of the chemical structure, Doctor Chain? Not entirely. Then we can't help you, I'm afraid. But we're so close. If Glaxo was to take this on, we'd need to synthesise it. And until we have a full breakdown of the chemical structure, that's impossible. Goodbye, then. Won't you reconsider? There's such a thing as a leap of faith. Not in science, Professor. You of all people should know that.

The cars are waiting. Look, you've seen what we're doing here, you've seen what we've achieved, you've seen there are people healthy and well at the Radcliffe because of us. There are people that are dying, and that's because of us, too. It's because we can't provide them with the tiniest magic bullet of penicillin and you could... Florey. ..but you choose not to. You sit on your hands and come up with spurious excuses. I had too much passive voice, perhaps, to many prepositions at the end of the sentence. You need to get some sleep. I see. I'll talk to him, but you have to understand, Mellanby, we're all rather on edge here, we were hoping to have a manufacturer on board by now. I know you're doing your best, I appreciate it.

Thank you. I just had Mellanby on the phone. He's not happy. Apparently you went up to London and rang them about patenting. I did no such thing. They had agreed to a private meeting. Which you didn't tell me about. Why should I? I know you're not interested. You don't want to patent. The MRC are against it.

It's not just the old guard, it's Mellanby. We need him on side, Chain, he's our biggest advocate. According to you precious advocate, if I proceed with this money-grubbing, I will have no scientific future in Britain. I don't believe he said that. Not only will my action reflect unfavourably on my own career,

but, I quote, on the whole status of my fellow refugees. I told you, Florey, it's a disease that incubated in Germany is spreading, it's getting a foothold over here. You don't see it, that's the problem.

You've placed your trust in the British establishment, but they're infected. That's nonsense. Then why support Mellanby over me? We developed penicillin, you and I.

Nobody listened, but we did it anyway. I dislike the way Mellanby put it, but I'm not sure I disagree with him. Patenting puts science on par with 19th century colonialism. You get there first, stick the flag in, take the money. So you are going to give everything away over some nonsense of a principle? You'll get nothing in return. All this shared information with the Americans. They can help us manufacture, they have the means. They are at war. They'll stockpile the penicillin for themselves.

You won't see anything from them. If we patent, no-one will stand with us, not the Royal Society, not the MRC. We won't need them.

We will be able to stand on our own. But maybe you don't want that.

RADIO: You played that backwards, didn't you? RADIO: I get so tired of playing them right way round.

RADIO: Well, let me hear another one. PHONE RINGS Hello. Hello, Professor Florey?

Professor Fleming. What can I do for you? Sorry to call you at home, but I need your help. Don't do it, don't go to London. A ward's all well and good, but Glaxo saw it and didn't come on board, so we need a high profile clinical trial that works. Does Fleming know that? I discussed it with him, yes. He's going to take detailed notes. And can we publish them? Yes, he's agreed we can include them in our clinical trials.

There's nothing to worry about. Professor! What if this man doesn't recover? It's another black mark for penicillin

and, well, we're less able to deal with the fallout.

Shouldn't we wait? Find another patient in Oxford? We don't owe Fleming anything. We've never treated meningitis before. This could be a breakthrough trial. I think it's worth the risk. I've done some tests, there's staphylococcus and streptococcus in his spinal fluid. Sulphonamides won't work on them, of course. He's a friend of mine. This is tremendously kind of you.

It's the least I can do. We have very little penicillin,

but I'll gladly bring more in a couple of days. Thank you. You will keep me informed? Of course. Stay with us, old friend. Morning. Florey. Listen to this. "A 52-year-old man has made a miraculous recovery from meningitis with the aid with the aid of a new wonder drug developed by eminent professor, Alexander Fleming. Experiments in a laboratory at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington are being made with a substance called penicillin." The cheek of it. "Professor Fleming said yesterday, 'The production of the drug is very complicated, and the difficulties are great.' The lawful risk for penicillin should be afforded to Alexander Fleming." M Ross Wright. Who's he? Oh, yeah, it's Fleming's boss at St Mary's. We need to respond to this. Do you think we should do a press conference of some sort? Open up the Dunn School, show them what we're doing.

It's a good idea. St Mary's are building a campaign. We have to fight back. The question is, can we publicise a drug we can't supply?

Ethically, where do we stand on that? Ethics went out of fashion when Hitler invaded Poland. Professor, Florey, how did you develop penicillin? Did you work closely alongside Alexander Fleming? Where you involved in the successful treatment of Harry Lambert? I and my team have nothing to say at this point about penicillin. "Dear Professor Florey, my daughter has pneumonia. They're trying to keep her breathing, but nothing's working. Please can you give her some of your drug?" "Dear Sir, my son sustained injuries in active service in the Air Force. We read about your new drug in the newspaper and hope you can help him." If we could, we would, we'd help all the soldiers and mothers and fathers and children.

Christ, it's pathetic. What was Fleming thinking? Let's answer them tomorrow. There will be more tomorrow. Let's answer them now. Yeah, Harry got better so quickly it was nothing short of a miracle. I told a few people about it.

We held back talking to the press because we can't provide penicillin for everybody. What's the point of us doing that if you go public? The thing is the head of my department got wind of it and went straight to Lord Beaverbrook who's one of the patrons of St Mary's, and, of course, Lord Beaverbrook owns newspapers, so... But you and your team deserve the credit for this, and I'm prepared to stand up and say so.

Well, let's not worry about that for the moment. The question is where do we go from here? Go from here? Well, Beaverbrook's a member of the War Cabinet, isn't he? Can't we find some silver lining in all this? Get him to push penicillin, you mean? People are desperate. They now know a miracle medicine's been discovered and they want some of it, and I don't blame them, do you? There's another chap, Andrew Duncan, junior Minister for Supply. He's hand in glove with the factory boys, knows all the people in industry. When he says boo, they jump. Well, then. I'm seeing him tomorrow. Shall I talk to him? This is a momentous day. All of you around this table have agreed to work together to develop this remarkable new drug. The Government realises that penicillin is imperative for the war effort. After considerable discussion, involving, I might add, the Prime Minister, we have decided to devote all resources required to move this forward. As a representative of this Government, I would like to thank the man who has worked tirelessly for this moment,

the man who discovered penicillin, Professor Alexander Fleming. Hear, hear. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you so much.

Professor Fleming! Will you be involved in the Government plans to make penicillin? What do you have to say about your great discovery? Tell us how you discovered penicillin, Professor Fleming. Well, it was an accident, really, I left a culture plate of staphylococcus in my lab over the summer break,

and I was about to throw it out when I noticed that mould has grown on the culture plate, and, most extraordinary, close to where the mould was, that bacteria had vanished. So I assumed that something in the mould was killing the bacteria. It was an accident, really. I had left a culture plate of staphylococcus in my lab. Four years, four years of scientific experiment. I know this didn't work out the way you wanted it to. What about you? Are you telling me you don't care that Fleming's walked off with the credit? I don't believe you. Of course I care. What's even more galling is that you warned me. But we know what we've done here. It doesn't change that. You're right, of course. We'll rise above it and be gentlemen. But you'll forgive me if tonight I go home and lick my wounds.

Professor, didn't know you were here. I just heard the news on the radio. A splendid result. Do you never sleep, Heatley? Overrated, in my opinion. I always imagined we'd fill this cabinet right up.

Never quite managed it, did we? We've had a good shot at it. After tonight, I suppose it will be someone else's cupboard,

someone else's penicillin. Who knows, couple of years, maybe every medicine cabinet will have penicillin in it? That would be something. Yes. That would be something. Closed Captions by CSI

* THEME MUSIC 'Ahead on Compass...'

My main concern was someone killing him.

During the whole thing. MAN: My parents are probably the two best Christians I know. So to have them presenting this to me, it's just kind of a coming out for them as well, you know, and they're all of a sudden just completely light-hearted and relieved about this and able just to be proud. Thank you for your company for a film that explores how five staunchly Christian families have handled having a gay child. Among them are the parents of Gene Robinson,

the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in America - an appointment which has threatened the unity of the Anglican communion worldwide.

This challenging film which has won numerous awards in the United States also examines the different ways that Christians and Jews interpret biblical texts about homosexuality

and then how these interpretations might apply to the modern world. If we were on a crusade across the nation to try to do away with the homosexuals, then, we certainly would have done it on 8th June after one of the most overwhelming victories in the country, but we didn't. We tried to avoid it and went into a place called Norfolk, Virginia,

and were met with protest, and all kinds of problems. And every... MAN: Oh! CAMERA CLICKS Security agent, security agent. No, let him stay. Let him stay. No. Well, at least, it's a fruit pie. Huh! Let's pray for him right now, Anita. Let's pray. That's all right. Father, we want to thank you

for the opportunity of coming to Des Moines and Father, I want to ask that you forgive him. That we love him. And that we love him. And that we'll pray for him... (CRIES) ..to be delivered from his deviant lifestyle, Father. MAN: This is nation under God. MAN: They're destroying the moral fabric of this nation. MAN: The Bible is the inerrant word of God. PROTESTERS: Civil rights! When do we want it? Now! This country is doing everything it can to make everyone believe it's OK to be gay. And quite frankly, it's not. That's why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. And that's what's gonna happen to this country.

God hates this country. America needs a tidal wave of the old-time religion. And I want all the audience to join me in a pledge, that you will never rest until this whole God-hating, Christ-hating, Sabbath-breaking, infidel old world

is bound to the cross of Jesus Christ by the golden chains of love. # Deus sacramentum # Deus, deus sacramentum... # If homosexuals are allowed their civil rights, then, so would prostitutes or thieves or anyone else. Marriage cannot be severed

from its cultural, religious and natural roots. The rancorous debate is part politics, part religion, part science - is homosexuality a sin? Is it a choice?

It is a sin because the Bible says so. I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. LAUGHTER If one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE God says in the Old and the New Testament that it's an abomination. God calls it an abom'nation. CROWD: Yeah! It's an abom'nation! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

It's an abom'nation!

They've heard it so much, like Goebbels said working for Hitler, you tell the lie enough times, the whole world will believe it.