antibiotics again...

John Smith sendnoemail at
Mon Dec 14 17:12:59 EST 1998

Stefanie Greve <S.Greve at> wrote ...
> Not long ago I tried to get an answer according to wether antibiotics
> have to be produced by microorganisms in order to be called antibiotics.
> But alas, there was no one there who was able and willing to give me an
> accurate answer to my question. [..]
> Stefanie Greve
Scientists like to define terms to their own liking
and consequently the precise definition of antibiotic
will vary depending upon whom is answering the 
question, but the most reliable means to determine
a word's true definition is......
an Unabridged Dictionary. 

My copy of Webster's
Unabridged Dictionary defines "antibiotic"
as "harmful to life; specifically destroying or
stopping the growth of bacteria".
That is a fine definition in my opinion- and note that
a substance certainly does not have to be made
by a microorganism in order to be an antibiotic.

-John Smith  

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