7. From Ancient Molds to Modern Miracles: The Discovery of Antibiotics


To the villagers who had lived and worked on its slopes for centuries, the 3,000-foot mountain must have seemed idyllic in its beauty and bounty of food that sprang from its rich, fertile soil. Rising from the Bay of Naples along the southwest coast of Italy, its slopes were covered by vineyards, cereal crops, and fruit orchards. Stands of oaks and beech trees rose to its summit and were populated by deer and wild boar. And grazing land was plentiful for the goats that provided milk and cheese. Given that there had been no sign of trouble for more than 1,000 years, it’s ...

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