The first surviving records of the use of egg-white for its antibacterial and medicinal properties date back to ancient Greek and Roman societies. Dioscorides, the Greek physician, wrote in the 50-70 AD ‘De materia medica’ of egg-white as a medicinal salve for the eyes, a practice that has echoes across both ancient Roman, and traditional Sudanese practice also1.
Whereas the elegant cube-like structure of salt (NaCl) was met with what was essentially disbelieving anger, Francis Crick famously asked at the 1965 public presentation of Lysozyme’s structure, “Could that be where the substrate polysaccharide binds?”.
Father and Son Nobel Prize
This award is notable not only as it was the first and only time that a father-son duo have been awarded the Nobel, but also in that Lawrence was only 25 at the time.
Much loved Lysozyme
Those that make their way past the shell are met with the bacteriolytic action that its discoverer, Alexander Fleming, first called ‘remarkable’ over 100 years ago. Much work followed to build on these earliest observations, yielding the applications for which Lysozyme is now relied upon.
The first Italian Penicillin
24th May 1947 saw the establishment of SPA (Società Prodotti Antibiotici) by Pharmacologist Dr. Rodolfo Ferrari and microbiologist Carlo Callerio. Now Italy had its own, domestic Penicillin, available both in vials and tablets as SUPERCILLIN and PRONTOCILLIN.
A nation’s entire supply of Penicillin
The death of their first trial patient through insufficient supply of Penicillin drove Florey, Chain, and their research assistant Heatley, forward with inspired momentum. Increasing production was an absolute necessity.
We are in its second year as a Republic. The constituent assembly has written and voted to accept the new constitution, and president Alcide de Gasperi has formed a new government.
Fleming was not only a Nobel prize-winning scientific mind, but he also had a real appreciation of art. Quite a capable artist himself, having a watercolour hung by the Royal Society of British Water Colour Artists, Fleming also experimented in the lab with pigment-producing microbes.
Fleming’s shyness, his being, “not a great lecturer” as acknowledged by Allison, may in part account for the poor reception received at the first reading of the initial paper describing lysozyme. At this presentation in December 1921 held at the Medical Research Club, an exclusive audience of the leading medical practitioners, no questions were asked1.
The second instalment of our 100 Years of Lysozyme series is now live. This week we discover how the abundance of Lysozyme in eggs was first discovered (hint: it wasn’t in the supermarket), and what this meant for Fleming’s extraction of tears using lemons.
AVIDIN’s discovery came from the observation of dramatic biotin deficiency (Vitamin H, B7, or Co-enzyme R) in chicks fed a raw egg-white diet1. The conclusion made was that this ‘egg-white injury’ resulted from a component in the egg-white withholding Biotin from the chicks, a finding since repeated in organisms ranging from ants to rats2.
The control of iron, its location, and concentration is of utmost importance for the thriving of life on Earth; animals, plants, and micro-organisms. Iron (with the chemical symbol Fe) is the fourth most common element in the Earth’s crust and the most abundant transition metal in the human body.
Neova Technologies Inc. extracts pancreatic enzymes from government certified porcine sources using multiple processing methods.
A feature shared across species is its synthesis as an inactive precursor. For mammals, this is trypsinogen, which once secreted from the pancreas is released into the small intestine where it is activated. This property is protective, preventing self-digestion of the pancreas by keeping active trypsin from ever coming into direct contact.
It is becoming ever more apparent that these key tools that modern medicine has come to rely upon are facing increasing risk to their efficacy. The UN General Assembly declared in 2016 that antibiotic resistance was the greatest and most urgent global threat, with a shocking 10,000,000 annual deaths projected by 2050 as a result of antimicrobial-resistant infections.
Methane emissions account for half of the 1oC rise in average global temperatures since the beginning of industrialisation. The considerable bright side is that methane is relatively short-lived in the atmosphere when compared to CO2, so interventions that reduce methane emissions will have a rapid impact.
It is commonly accepted that human lactoferrin is an important component of innate immunity, and can interact with microorganisms by the iron sequestration mechanism and microbial molecules at the intestinal lumen.
Tryptophan’s journey to the brain; from food to cognition-critical serotonin. Clinical studies have shown improved working memory, reaction to positive information, and alertness for participants taking NA2R® compared to placebo controls.
Trypsin SE finds critical applications in the production of medical food, hydrolysed whey protein, and hypo-allergenic infant formula. In mammals, the constituent enzymes of pancreatin are synthesised as inactive precursors (known as proenzymes or zymogens), protecting and preventing the pancreas from digesting itself.
Its main purpose in QC will be the quantification of individual proteins (e.g. Lysozyme and impurities) in a mixture.
This gram-positive bacteria is particularly infamous for causing late blowing defects in cured, hard and semi-hard cheeses, dramatically reducing quality, rendering it entirely unmarketable. Cheese makers have been trusting Bioseutica’s® LYSOLAC® for over 30 years to naturally prevent late blowing, protecting their cheese and its commercial value.
Today, brewers benefit from technological developments including cold storage and Bioseutica®’s Lysobier®, an egg-derived natural additive that powerfully prevents and eliminates bacteria from the brewing process.
Viticulture extends back to and coincides with the earliest settling of humans, ancient Persia being regarded as the first winemaking culture. From here (quite understandably), grape cultivation and winemaking spread, leaving traces across the southern Caucasus and into what is now Greece.
The story of its discovery by Alexander Fleming is one of serendipity. For Fleming, it was not the fall of an apple, but that of mucous landing in a bacterial culture that revealed the efficacy of Lysozyme in rupturing the cell wall of bacteria. It is this powerful bacteriolytic effect that led to its naming.