There's no defeat, in truth, save from within;
Unless you're beaten there, you're bound to win!
Thy part is with broken saber
To rise on the last redoubt.
Louise Imogen Guiney
In 1928 Alexander Fleming made a careless mistake, which wasn't his custom. He had completed university and medical school with academic distinction and served with honor in the army medical corps in World War I. Then he returned to research and teaching at the Royal College of Surgeons, trying to find antibacterial substances that would be nontoxic to animal tissues. And he had achieved a measure of success.
While researching influenza, however, he somehow contaminated a staphylococcus culture dish with mold and ruined the culture.
That uncharacteristically careless act resulted in what has been termed a "triumph of accident and shrewd observation," for Fleming noticed the mold had produced a bacteriafree spot in the previously thriving staphylococcus colony. Upon further investigation, he observed the ...1