James Nichols nodded at Mike Stearns. "As real as it gets, Mike. This hospital in Cologne is saving lives using homemade penicillin." He smiled. "I told you sending out those cultures would pay off."
"But I thought we needed some high tech to make penicillin."
"Well, you do to make pure penicillin. But this stuff is pretty crude. Turns out this monk, an Antonite named Gysbert Schotten, is a pretty decent jack-leg biochemist. So through a bit of luck and a lot of hard work he was able to make enough crude penicillin to start supplying most of the hospitals and physicians in Cologne. It won't be enough for a nation of millions, but it's certainly enough to take care of a city of forty thousand."
"So, should we start making this stuff?"
James smiled. "We already have." He shook his head. "Who would have believed it? Pea juice and borax to improve the yield. One of those 'duh' moments, like Greg Ferrara had. It might not be as effective as pure penicillin, but if we need an antibiotic that we can use topically, it should work in a high percentage of cases. And the nice thing is, we can spread this around to a lot more places than sulfanilamide or chloramphenicol. We just need to try to make sure that people use it wisely. Back in the Fifties they were putting penicillin in everything from toothpaste to lipstick."
When James had left Mike walked to the window of his office. Pea juice and borax. Not something that had been in any of the books in Grantville, that was for sure. Synergism. Up-time ideas fusing with down-time hard work and perseverance.