A Famous Accident

By | 05.05.2017

Word List. Unit 5

  • To assess something means to judge the structure, purpose, or quality of it.
    She assessed the condition of the toy car before buying it.
  • To astonish someone means to greatly surprise them.
    The amount of people that came to her party astonished her.
  • To commence something means to begin it.
    His speech commenced with a “thank you” to all who had helped him succeed.
  • The essence of something is its important qualities or basic characteristics.
    The essence of the argument was that both sides felt they had lost money.
  • To extract something means to remove it.
    The dentist extracted the woman’s damaged tooth and put in a fake one.
  • If something is fabulous, it is extremely good.
    This strawberry is the best I’ve ever had. It’s fabulous.
  • Haste is speed in movement or action.
    In order to get to the meeting in time, he proceeds with haste.
  • An impulse is a sudden thoughtless urge to do something.
    Because of the scary noise, she had an impulse to run somewhere and hide.
  • Latter describes something last in a series or the second choice of two things.
    In the latter minutes of the game, the visitors scored the winning goal.
  • A molecule is the smallest basic unit that makes up a physical substance.
    A tiny drop of water is made up of thousands of molecules of water.
  • If something is ongoing, then it is still happening or still growing.
    The development of plants is ongoing because it takes time for them to mature.
  • If something is pharmaceutical, then it is related to the development of drugs.
    Pharmaceutical companies discover new cures to illnesses all the time.
  • If someone is precise, then they are exact and careful about their work.
    The builder was very precise about where he placed the nails.
  • Proximity is closeness in time, space, or relationships.
    All the trees in the proximity of the beach had been cut down.
  • Publicity is public attention given to someone or something by the media.
    She received a lot of publicity after her performance in the film.
  • A remedy is a cure for a disease, argument, or problem.
    A good remedy for a headache is an aspirin and a glass of water.
  • The significance of something is the quality that makes it important.
    The significance of the snowy weather was that we didn’t have to go to school.
  • If something is subsequent, then it comes after something else in time.
    The flood and the subsequent rescue of those caught in the flood were on TV.
  • If something is synthetic, then it is made to be like something natural.
    Clothing made out of synthetic fabrics is very effective at keeping people warm.
  • If something is terminal, then it causes or results in death.
    Since his condition was not terminal, he felt a great sense of relief.

A Famous Accident

One of the greatest pharmaceutical discoveries happened by accident. In his haste to go on vacation, Alexander Fleming had left his laboratory in a mess. The essence of his ongoing work involved a type of bacteria. An infection caused by the bacteria was often terminal, and he was looking for a remedy. He had left the bacteria out while he was away. When he returned from vacation, he found that his lab was covered in fungus. He started cleaning up the mess. While he was cleaning, he had an impulse to examine the fungus.

He saw that whenever the fungus was in close proximity to the bacteria, the bacteria died. Though he was a messy scientist, his experiments were precise. He thought that there might be some significance to the fungus. He immediately commenced an experiment to assess what had happened to the bacteria. It had either died by accident or the fungus had killed it. The subsequent tests proved it was the latter reason. What he found astonished him. The fungus actually killed the bad bacteria. All this time, he had been looking for a synthetic material to kill the bacteria.

Instead, a common fungus did the job. He knew that something in the fungus had killed the bacteria. His next step was to find those molecules that had done it. When he found them, he extracted them and put them into a pill. The drug proved to be very effective. It also worked against other types of harmful bacteria. The discovery received a lot of publicity. Soon after, the new drug was being used all over the world. Because of the success, the scientist was able to develop even more fabulous drugs to help people. His accidental discovery changed the world and helped save many people’s lives.

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