Lewis Pasteur was born December 27th, 1822 in Dole, France and died September 28, 1895. He earned his master’s degree in 1845 at École normale supérieure in Paris, France. Then acquired his doctorate in 1847. Pasteur was a chemist/micro biologist who discovered some of the greatest mysteries of microbiology.
His contributions to the field of microbiology includes discovering fermentation, discovering anaerobic life, discovering pasteurization, shutting down the spontaneous generation of life theory, discovering the germ theory of disease, and silkworm disease. Pasteur’s first discovery was made at the age of 35.In 1858, Pasteur made his first discovery which was Fermentation. He discovered fermentation was a process undergoing the work of bacteria and living yeast. The yeast is necessary for fermentation to take place. Pasteur noted ” Alcoholic fermentation is an act correlated with the life and organization of the yeast cells, not with the death or putrefaction of the cells”. This study came about when an employee from a vineyard in France asked for Pasteur’s help in figuring out why their wine was going bad. Then 1862 comes around the corner and he makes another discovery based off his fermentation study.
From 1858 to 1862 he continued to study the benefits / harmful effect of microbes in liquids. In conclusion to this study the process of pasteurization is invented. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk or brewery products between 60° – 100° C for several minutes to kill any microorganisms that cause the milk, wine, or beer to go bad. Due to these major discoveries Pasteur had then came to another conclusion based on these studies.
Later on during 1862, Pasteur is getting awarded 2,500 Francs for providing proof that spontaneous generation of life was not true. He proved that living things did not spontaneously come into existence. His experiment included a swan neck flask that he created and broth.
The broth was boiled to sterilize it and then left in the swan neck flask for weeks. The swan neck flask exposed air to the broth but made it to where microorganisms or dust couldn’t fall into the flask and contaminate the broth. After watching this experiment for weeks, Pasteur then broke the swan neck of the flask exposing the broth completely and within just a few days there was microorganisms growing in the broth. Based off of this experiment, his next achievement was then the discovery of the germ theory of disease. From Pasteur’s discoveries of fermentation, pasteurization, and spontaneous generalization him to draw the conclusion that diseases are cause by these microscopic organisms; otherwise known as germs in 1864.
This is the germ theory of disease. This theory has had a great impact in the medical field. It led to the identification and treatment of many microbial diseases. Pasteur saved millions of lives with this discovery and is still a major contribution to modern medicine now days.
His next discovery was of anaerobic life in 1863. Louis was 34 years old at this time. He received a position as a director of scientific studies at École Normale in Paris. At this time he had no lab or provided funds to do any studies. He decided to use his own money to rent an attic space in École Normale and turn it into a laboratory and funded his own research work. Pasteur then discovered a new type of living organism and called them anaerobic microbes. They were named after the fact that these microbes lived without the need for oxygen.
In 1865, Pasteur took on studying the silkworm disease in France that was critically jeopardizing their silk industry. Discovering the infectious agents and finding out how this disease was transmitted led to Pasteur confirming that each disease was caused by a specific microbe and that microbes are foreign elements. He then used this study to create the rules to basic sterilization which would then prevent cross contamination and infection. In 1877, Pasteur began studying infectious diseases in more depth.
He wanted to figure out how to treat them. He began experimenting on chickens with chicken cholera. He would get cultures from the infected and hold the sample for a few days and inject it into a healthy chicken. At first this experiment wasn’t successful and the chickens just kept dying.
It wasn’t until Pasteur went in vacation and left some cultures of the chicken cholera sit until he came back. He then took those cultures and injected them into healthy chickens. He monitored these chickens and saw nothing happened. A few days went by and Pasteur then injected the same chickens with chicken cholera again but, these culture were only a few days old again.
The chickens still showed no symptoms. Pasteur officially invented the vaccine. After inventing the chicken cholera vaccine, Pasteur continued to create more vaccines. He then developed a vaccine for anthrax and swine erysipelas. After all of these accomplishments Pasteur still wasn’t done.