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How to make penicillin


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#1 ed84c

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 01:56 PM

Can somebody tell me how to grow from houshold aparatus penicillin?
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#2 YT2095

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 02:00 PM

mouldy bread if I rem correctly.
then you`de need to isolate the part that`s actualy the penecillin and culture that in a suitable medium.
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#3 ed84c

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:58 PM

How do i no which is the penicilin part?
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#4 YT2095

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 03:57 PM

you`de need books with diagrams or the I-net diagrams and a microscope to identify the spores as penecillin, and then be very carefull with it`s extraction as to not cross contaminate it.
this is a very a crude method, be certain! however you DID state from household kit :)
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#5 ed84c

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 06:53 PM

How much magnification
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#6 YT2095

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 07:20 PM

not a clue there to be honest, but a simple 900X mag wouldn`t be a bad start (some more knowledgable folks can tell just by the mold color though).
you really need a book!
personaly, I wouldn`t risk doing it, you could accidently culture all manor of nasties and get youself quite ill as a result. lots of study is called for here I recon :)
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#7 jrock

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:34 PM

how do u make penicillin
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#8 YT2095

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:52 AM

you Don`t, you get it from your doctor!

as I said above, you risk breeding all sorts of potentially lethal pathogens even if you know what you`re doing.
so if you have to ask that question, you have no business even Trying to make it!
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#9 insanerob23

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:03 PM

Is there any other forms of antibiotics that can be found and made with crude materials in the wild. Penicillin needs a lot of equipment and technology that wouldn't be available in the woods. I was looking into plants that may help with infection but I have very limited sources.
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#10 Psycho

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:15 PM

To be fair the ways described here to find out if it is the Penicillium species aren't very good the easiest way is to just to grow it on a bacterial plate and then on the same plate grow the fungus with penicillinase if the one without it kills the bacteria and the other doesn't you have a fungus making penicillin.
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#11 SkepticLance

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:35 PM

Penicillium is a genus of mould fungus, and has an enormous number of different species. Most will not produce useful quantities of penicillin. The species currently used by the industry is Penicillium chrysogenum.

You are seriously unlikely to manage to isolate this species in anything other than a very well equipped laboratory. The best way to get hold of some is to buy a freeze dried specimen, and then grow it on culture medium. It can probably be bought by one of your local scientific supply companies, but you will need to phone around. At the same time, buy suitable culture medium. This can be prepared in a kitchen, and sterilised with a pressure cooker, on high for 15 to 20 minutes.
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#12 insanerob23

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:49 AM

I guess the question for me is; is there any sort of anti bacterial, or better yet a herbal remedy that can help the body overcome or prevent infection in the wild. Something that could be gathered in the wild and made or something that has these qualities. For instance if I were to get a compound fracture in the wild a way to prevent infection before i dress it? or a deep cut ect.

etc. sorry
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#13 SkepticLance

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:57 AM

If you are happy to accept a topical rather than systemic treatment, there are lots of options. For example : animals lick wounds - with good reason. Saliva contains antiseptic materials.

A classical treatment that has been shown to work quite well is honey. Soak a bandage in honey and place it over the wound. The high sugar content provides osmotic drying that dehydrates bacteria, and kills them.

Lots of leaves, barks etc contain antiseptic materials that kill bacteria, and lots of 'pre-civilisation' societies have collected these materials and pulped them to make antiseptic material.

None of them will systemically, as an antibiotic can. Thus, the antiseptics will kill bacteria at the surface of a wound, but not deeper. Puncture wounds result in deep infections that cannot be destroyed with any treatment short of antibiotics.
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#14 insanerob23

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:43 PM

For a deep puncture wound would searing it with a hot iron to help sterilize it and then use one of the antiseptic materials work? Or lets say if i got a compound fracture amputation would probably be the only thing that could save me besides antibiotics, or is there other means?
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#15 SkepticLance

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:41 PM

To insanerob

In the days before antibiotics, deep puncture wounds were common causes of death. They led to deep infections, and there was no way to fight them. In a limb, sometimes amputation worked, but the operation often simply became the cause of death! Any puncture wound through the peritoneum was a 100% death sentence. In agony!

Compound fractures did not work that way, though they frequently led to long term deformity and extreme pain. Only if the broken bone punctured the skin would infection get in. Under normal circumstances the interior of the human body, excluding air passages and digestive system, is sterile. No bacteria at all. Thus, damage in that sterile environment could heal without infectious complication.

Fractures in the old days were set as best they could - manipulating them back into position. Then they were strapped and splinted to hold them in place to permit healing. Rather too often they were not set right, and healing was slow, and painful, and resulted in a deformed limb. If you want to know how to carry out this procedure, there are lots of first aid courses that cover the method, if briefly. I am sure there will be more advanced courses as well.
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#16 NoMoreNicksLeft

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Posted 3 September 2008 - 02:48 PM

SkepticLance, you suggested that someone should buy a sample from scientific supply company if they were interested in experimenting with this. I found your answer via google, and i registered just to reply.

I'm curious about several things. First, would such a sample be one of the industrial high-yielding strains, or do drug companies keep those for themselves? Second, what kind of setup would it require for a person to be able to produce significant amounts, say, enough to produce a 3 week course of antibiotics for a single person? Finally, would it even be safe to do so? I can imagine that with practice, even a layman might manage to get good at growing mold (some of us have quite a bit of accidental practice *chuckle*). I can even see that with practice and a decent microscope, a layman might be able to detect contamination from other molds, and discard any such. But doesn't this mold produce other compounds that would be unsafe, that are filtered out somehow?

Granted, in any normal situation where professionally manufactured antibiotics are available, I'd choose those over anything "homemade" without hesitation. But mostly as an intellectual puzzle, I am curious about what would be possible/plausible if such were ever unavailable. The shelf life of many of these medicines is rather short.

PS Would the freeze dried specimen last long? Is that something that could be chucked into a cold freezer as insurance against doomsday?
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#17 SkepticLance

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Posted 3 September 2008 - 10:33 PM

Hello Nicks.

I do not think I can answer all your queries. Certainly, the highest yielding strains of Penicillium will be restricted to the drug companies. Unless you know someone who is prepared to break all the rules, you are not going to lay your hands on any of those.

However, the first Penicillin was made from 'natural' strains of Penicillium. As long as you do not insist of high purity drug, a crude material could be prepared from 'natural' mould.

Safety? I would not use such a preparation as long as a modern source was available. Only in extreme circumstances, such as after a nuclear war and collapse of civilisation would I even start experimenting.

Freeze dried speciments can survive many years without refrigeration. I buy a few occasionally from a local source, and they come in glass vials that have to be broken to access the sample. I then have to grow it on suitable culture medium to get an actual mould sample.
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#18 NoMoreNicksLeft

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Posted 4 September 2008 - 04:05 AM

You answered most of them well enough.

I did find this link:

http://www.carolina....iving, plate.do

I don't know if $14 is a good "nuclear war, collapse of civilization" insurance price. But it's cheap enough that someone could tinker with it.

I also don't think someone like me could really do much with it though. I'm a highschool flunky, and I know just enough to know some (not even all) of the things I don't know that would be needed. I think it's a bit more than having good sterile technique. Hell, to harvest the penicillin itself is almost an engineering sort of thing.

I would love to discuss it further though, if you're interested in doing so. If you aren't, I understand, this stuff is probably pretty boring for someone who does this for a living.
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#19 SkepticLance

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Posted 4 September 2008 - 09:25 AM

To Nicks

If you can grow a pure culture of Penicillium chrysogenum in sufficient quantity, and I mean a bath full of the stuff, you can prepare a crude solution that might cure an infection.

Once you have sufficient mass of the mould, you take it from the culture, and grind it and filter it to remove the trash. The sick person who drinks the resulting disgusting brew may get enough penicillin to save his/her life.

No guarantees here, and you would need to be fairly desperate. Personally, I would rather go to my doctor and get a prescription for the good stuff!
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#20 NoMoreNicksLeft

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Posted 4 September 2008 - 01:40 PM

Willing to speculate on how much you'd have to try to culture? The industrial makers use vats that are hundreds or thousands of gallons... but surely that is for many, many doses worth. Would something in the 10-50 gallon range be adequate for a few doses/courses worth? How much would this depend on the yield of your strain of the mold?

Some things I read suggest that it's not as important as ensuring that the culture is kept clean of bacteria, which can produce enzymes that destroy the penicillin. That would imply that good sterile techniques are more important than just about any other factor.

They also seem to use centrifuges to separate the mold itself from the liquid. Now, those aren't cheap, but someone with some mechanical engineering skill could manage something like it. (There are centrifuges on ebay in the sub-$400 range, but these seem suited only for a dozen test tubes at a time, inadequate if you're doing a batch of 50 gallons.) Filtering the liquid afterward would remove any particulates. Still, aren't there other substances in it that you'd want to remove?

And if a person were inclined to test the efficacy of the resulting anti-biotic, what's required there? Do you need or would you want to test it on animals, lab mice or the like? Or would a few cultures of staph in a petri dish be enough for this?

And, should our hypothetical doomsday occur, would you immediately want to break out the Penicillium chrysogenum and start culturing it continuously, so that you had enough practice to get it right when it counts? You can't wait until someone has the infection that requires it, I think, because we're talking what, 2 weeks or more from start to finish, even if you're quick with practice.

For that matter, in the years between doomsday and actual need, can you stockpile the output of your practice (assuming it meets whatever quality standards you have)? Will it store under refrigeration?
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