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Microbiology Pioneers:

       Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

 Contributions:

       Louis Pasteur founded the basis of modern biology and chemistry through the “germ theory” (Seung Yon). He deciphered the enigmatic rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera, as well as silkworm diseases. He was part of the development of the first vaccines ever created including the rabbi vaccination (Seung Yon).

Pasteur studied the brewing of beer, making of wine, and fermentation between 1857 and 1865 (Seung Yon). His research provides us with imperative concepts and applications still used today. In 1864, he hypothesized the “germ theory” which is that fermenting solutions contained optically active compounds (capable of rotating the plane of polarized light) and that it was a process conducted by microorganisms (Seung Yon). The “germ theory” led to a multitude of productions such as making wine, antiseptic operations, pasteurization, and beer-brewing. The theory also led to the discovery of the nature of contagious diseases. Basically, with the knowledge that germ leads to fermentation he deduced that germs lead to contagious diseases. He looked at anthrax and between 1865 and 1870 he looked at various silkworm diseases ("Louis Pasteur...").

Pasteur studied characteristics of disease-causing germs and viruses and found ways to manipulate infectious agents for animal and human immunity. He discovered that the rabies virus has an incubation period which then led to studies on post-infection treatment with weakened viruses. With this work, he was able to save hundreds of lives. In 1880, he introduced the first animal vaccine for chicken cholera ("Louis Pasteur..."). In 1881, he introduced the first anthrax vaccine. In 1884, he created a vaccine against rabbis for dogs and against rabbis in humans.

Pasteur created the foundation for science and medicine such as stereochemistry, microbiology, bacteriology, virology, immunology, and molecular biology. His biggest achievements were protecting people from disease using vaccination and pasteurization (Seung Yon).

 How does this affect me?

If the “germ theory” never existed, our society would probably still believe in spontaneous generation ("Louis Pasteur..."). If I were infected, I probably wouldn’t be getting post-infection treatment for any infections I may contract later in life. I probably would not even have had the various vaccinations I have been given throughout my life. My chances of contracting the diseases I was vaccinated for would be extremely high for the diseases not yet eradicated. In fact, I’d probably have one of the diseases right now.

(image from http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/misc/evprev/fig21.jpg)



    - Antony Leeuwenhoek

    - Robert Hooke

    - Edward Jenner

    - Louis Pasteur

    - Joseph Lister

    - Robert Koch

    - Walter Reed

    - Paul Ehrlich

    - Alexander Fleming

    - Kary Mullis