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Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) was born in Ayrshire, and was one of the great figures of 20th-century medicine. Not only did he discover the antibiotic powers of penicillin, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in 1945, but he was the first to use anti-typhoid vaccines on human beings and pioneered the use of salvarsan for syphilis. This sample of the mould that makes penicillin was presented to the University by Fleming to commemorate his time as Rector. To many viewers it is a beautiful object, simple and ethereal, which transcends the mere fact of it being mould.