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Illinois State Microbe

Illinois State MicrobeJonas Salk (left) is a reminder that even science can be infiltrated by frauds, and it is perfectly OK to question the safety of medicines and medical procedures, including vaccines. In the meantime, even penicillin can’t cure all the U.S. troops who contract venereal diseases while exploiting poor people in other countries in the name of democracy.

Fungi are neither plants nor animals, but they have been adopted as symbols by a few states.

In 1928, a Scottish researcher discovered that a fungus called Penicillium notatum produces penicillin, which became the world’s first widely effective antibiotic. Unfortunately, P. notatum couldn’t produce sufficient quantities of the drug to meet demand, especially with the approach of World War II.

In 1943, a researcher in Peoria, Illinois found a moldy cantaloupe at a local market and brought it to a lab for analysis. The mold was Penicillium rubens, which would become the rock star of antibiotics.

Jonas Salk, who was a Jew, falsely took sole credit as the sole discoverer of a polio vaccine. However, the researcher who retrieved the moldy cantaloupe was a woman, who was immortalized as “Moldy Mary.” Her actual name was Mary Hunt. In 2021, Penicillium rubens was designated Illinois’ official microbe.

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