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Pure Bioscience Looks For Silver Lining

Alexander the Great is said to have used silver coins to purify water. The huge collection of impressionist art at the Barnes Foundation near Philadelphia was amassed with a fortune built on selling an antiseptic silver compound called Argyrol in the early 20th century.

But silver was largely sidelined with the discovery of penicillin and other new antibiotics in the 1950s. It was still used for some things, like treating burns and disinfecting the eyes of newborns. But it was hard to patent, and make money from, and scientists weren't so sure how it worked.
 
 

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