Photostory #422: Far-Reaching, Big Discovery for the Living World: The Magic Word is MYXIN
National Film Board of Canada
August 2, 1966
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Incidental to their work of fundamental research on microorganisms is the vital discovery by federal agricultural scientists of an extraordinary new antibiotic - Myxin. Thought to be the forerunner of a whole new series of antibiotics of much greater effectiveness than those now in use, Myxin promises immense benefits for all mankind. Extremely powerful and simple to produce by commercial mass-production, this new disease killer has shown its versatility in tests by killing swiftly and completely over 100 species of bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and yeasts - many of which cause grave sickness among humans, animals and plants. Already, with required testing at the initial laboratory stages, Myxin has proven its mastery of the organism causing tuberculosis and the infectious, antibiotic-resistant enemy of hospital hygiene, Staphylococcus aureus. Discovered and developed by doctors F.D. Cook, D.C. Gillespie, and E.A. Peterson, the finding of this new biological weapon for Canada and the world in general is a fine example of various intriguing studies taking place under the director of the Microbiology Research Institute, Dr. R.M. Hochster. This internationally-known division of the Canada Department of Agriculture has over the years earned renown for deep studies into such potentially rewarding fields as plant tumor-causing bacteria, the genetic basis of immunity of organisms to antibiotics and the important functions of previously obscure and prolific microorganisms in the soil. From such scientific studies will come not only knowledge of extreme value in the vital task of producing food, but probably other exciting discoveries that - like the wonderful new antibiotic Myxin - will place before the world treasures unreckonable by commercial accounting alone.