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The first aminoglycoside
Microbiologist Selman Waksman isolates streptomycin from soil bacteria. It is the first of a new class of antibiotic drugs, called aminoglycosides. Aminoglycosides interrupt microbial protein synthesis, though the precise mechanisms are not entirely understood. Streptomycin is a powerful drug, and the first effective treatment for tuberculosis, but it also toxic, and occasionally produces severe side-effects. It has been eclipsed in clinical practice by treatments with improved safety profiles, but it continues to be prescribed to combat serious Gram-negative bacterial infections. In the immediate post-war era, research on aminoglycosides becomes an important source of new products, revenues, and profits for the pharmaceutical industry.