Yet in January 1943, it is revealing that one of the earliest and most persistent researchers as to the chemical structure of penicillin , Karl Meyer, is still free to publish his informed opinion on the formula for penicillin : C14H19NO6 or C14H17NO5 + H2O.
His co-author, clinician Henry Dawson, by way of contrast, is NOT free to reveal that he has achieved a truly spectacular medical event : curing the incurable, invariably fatal SBE with penicillin , still the acid test of all infectious diseases.
His first penicillin success with this disease, a young woman known to us only as Miss HH , had just gone home cured - in time for Christmas - just days before Dawson team member Gladys Hobby was due to deliver this paper in Columbus Ohio in late December 1942.
Few members of the January 1943 public, falling by chance upon this journal were likely to care about the chemical formula of a largely unknown new drug - but curing SBE - Oh My, oh my !
Now that was a good news story, with legs.
The OSRD hated good news not of their own making ...
Which is precisely why it was banned ---- and the chemical formula was not.
The very last way the OSRD wanted the public to first hear about penicillin a full year and a half before D-Day, was in the context of a widely publicized civilian miracle cure.
Dropping the miracle-work of D-Day penicillin on a surprised German Army medical corps was not going to work, if the Germans had first heard rumours of miracle cures with penicillin coming from every local American newspaper some two years earlier and had time to grow their own penicillin.
If the price for Dawson continuing to receive penicillin, once his hitherto semi-independent supplier Pfizer joined the OSRD cartel in the Fall of 1942, was to became a OSRD "principal investigator" (aka COC "accredited investigator") then he had to take an extraordinary oath not to reveal anything to anyone, without full OSRD approval.
So nothing public on the success penicillin was having in pulling bodies back from the grave : but if the Germans wished to make penicillin ; well then here is the formula.......
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