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Heroes of Progress: Louis Pasteur

Heroes of Progress: Louis Pasteur

https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=1943

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Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur is known as the father of microbiology. He is renowned for developing the germ theory of disease, creating the process of pasteurization, and for changing the way scientists develop vaccines.

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The life of Louis Pasteur

  • He was born on December 27, 1827, to a poor Catholic family in Jura, France.
  • In 1842, he graduated with a degree in science from the Royal College of Besançon. A year later, he started studying at École Normale Supérieure, and in 1848, Pasteur was appointed professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg.
  • In 1856, Pasteur started to study fermentation to help a local wine manufacturer overcome the problem of alcohol souring.

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The "spontaneous generation" theory

Before Pasteur, people believed the doctrine of "spontaneous generation" - that life spontaneously appeared from non-living matter.

This theory was used to explain why food spoiled and how infection developed. Pasteur disproved this theory.

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Two remarkable discoveries

  • Pasteur found that heating beverages to a temperature between 140F to 212F (60°C-100°C) killed bacteria in those liquids - a process known as pasteurization.
  • He also turned his attention to the development of vaccines. He used artificially weakened viruses as vaccines and went on to develop a vaccine for anthrax and rabies.

Pasteur provided the proof for the existence of the germ theory of disease and revolutionized the way we think about human health.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Pasteurization

Pasteurization
  • It is the process of applying low heat to kill pathogens and extend shelf life of food and beverage products.
  • The process does not eliminate bacterial spor...

The Process of Pasteurization

  • The process is dependent on the nature of the product and whether it is packaged or not.
  • Liquids and products packaged in plastic and metal containers can be pasteurized either through steam or hot water.
  • Packaged food in glass containers can be pasteurized too by using hot water with the consideration of the glass's breaking point.
  • The temperature and duration of the process of pasteurization are delicately controlled.

The Discovery of Pasteurization

  • In 1864, Louis Pasteur developed the technique to heat wine before aging it to kill microbes and reduce its acidity. Hence, the name pasteurization.
  • However, the process itself has been around way before Louis Pasteur. It was popularly used in China to preserve wine in 1117AD.
  • The main reason why it is named in his honor is due to his research that pointed towards microorganisms as the culprit for spoilage and disease that led to the Germ Theory of Disease.

Wilhelm Rontgen

Wilhelm Rontgen

The German scientist was the first person to identify electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength that we today know as an x-ray.

The most common usage of x-rays includes ...

Early life of Wilhelm Rontgen

  • Röntgen was born on March 26, 1845, in Lennep, Prussia.
  • He enrolled in the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich as a student of mechanical engineering in Switzerland.
  • In 1869, Röntgen obtained a Ph.D. and became an assistant professor.
  • By 1874, he qualified as a Lecturer at Strasbourg University and became a professor in 1876.
  • In 1888, Röntgen moved to become Chair of Physics at the University of Würzburg, where he made his world-changing discovery.

Discovering a new type of ray

On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen was conducting experiments using a cathode ray tube. He noticed that when he used the cathode ray tube, a board on the other side of his lab that was covered in phosphorus began to glow. Even if he covered the tube's light in a thick black cardboard box, the phosphorous board continued to glow.

It became clear to Röntgen that he had discovered a new type of ray.

The Common Cold

With over 200 different kinds of viruses that make up the common cold, Science is struggling to find a cure.

Adults suffer this elusive, widespread, and infectious disease 2 to 4 times...

The 7 Identified Virus Families

Scientists to date have identified seven virus families that cause the majority of colds:

  • rhinovirus
  • the new 2019
  • influenza
  • parainfluenza
  • adenovirus
  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • metapneumovirus.

Vaccines vs Drugs

For Doctors, vaccines are preferable to drugs as they protect the host even before any infection.

For Pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma), vaccines don't spell money, as much as over-the-counter drugs and treatment do.