Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur (27 December 1822 – 28 September 1895), a French chemist and microbiologist, is best known for remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease. His experiments supported the germ theory, also reducing mortality from (child bed fever), and he created the first vaccine for rabies. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness; this process came to be called "pasteurization". Pasteur is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, and he is considered the founder of scientific oenology.wine pros.com.Au. Cite web|last= "Oxford Companion to Wine"| title= Bordeaux University |URL= http://www.winepros.com.au/jsp/cda/reference/oxford_entry.jsp?entry_id=389 ] He is also credited with dispelling the theory of spontaneous generation with his experiment employing chicken broth and a goose neck flask. He also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, most notably the asymmetry of crystals. paragraph 1] He is buried beneath the Institute Pasteur, an incredibly rare honor in France, where being buried in a cemetery is mandatory save for the fewer than 300 "Great Men" who are entombed in the Pantheon.

Early life and biography

Louis Jean Pasteur was born in Dole in the Jura region of France and grew up in the town of Arbois. paragraph 1] There he later had his house and laboratory, which is a Pasteur museum today. His father, Jean Pasteur (1791-1864), was a poorly educated tanner and a decorated Sergeant-Major of the Grande Armee. Louis's aptitude was recognized by his college headmaster, who recommended that the young man apply for the École Normale Supérieure, which accepted him. After serving briefly as professor of physics at Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at Strasbourg University,Catholic Ency. par. 2] where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector in 1849. They were married on 29 May 1849, and together they had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood. Throughout his life, Louis Pasteur remained an ardent Catholic. A well-known quotation illustrating this is attributed to him: "The more I know, the more nearly is my faith that of the Breton peasant. Could I but know all I would have the faith of a Breton peasant's wife."

Work on chirality and the polarization of light


Germ theory

Louis demonstrated that the fermentation process is caused by the growth of microorganisms, and that the growth of microorganisms in nutrient broths is not due to spontaneous generationCatholic Ency. par. 3] but rather to biogenesis (Omne vivum ex ovo). He exposed boiled broths to air in vessels that contained a filter to prevent all particles from passing through to the growth medium, and even in vessels with no filter at all, with air being admitted via a long tortuous tube that would not allow dust particles to pass. Nothing grew in the broths; therefore, the living organisms that grew in such broths came from outside, as spores on dust, rather than spontaneously generated within the broth. This was one of the last and most important experiments disproving the theory of spontaneous generation. The experiment also supported germ theory.While Pasteur was not the first to propose germ theory (Girolamo Fracastoro, Agostino Bassi, Friedrich Henle and others had suggested it earlier), he developed it and conducted experiments that clearly indicated its correctness and managed to convince most of Europe it was true. Today he is often regarded as the father of germ theory and bacteriology, together with Robert Koch. [http://www.asm.org/ASM/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000003237/znw00807000383.pdf Ullmann] 383] In a triumphal lecture at the Sorbonne in 1864, Pasteur said, "Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment," referring to his swan-neck flask experiment wherein he proved that fermenting microorganisms would not form in a flask containing fermentable juice until an entry path was created for them. [cite book |title=Molecular Evolution and the Origin of Life |last=Fox |first=Sidney W. |coauthors=Klaus Dose |year=1972 |publisher=W.H Freeman and Company, San Francisco |pages=pp. 4.171 |isbn=0824766199] [cite book |title=Origin of Life |last=Oparin |first=Aleksandr I. |year=1953 |pages=p.196 |publisher=Dover Publications, New York |isbn=0486602133] Pasteur's research also showed that some microorganisms contaminated fermenting beverages. With this established, he invented a process in which liquids such as milk were heated to kill most bacteria and molds already present within them. He and Claude Bernard completed the first test on April 20 1862. This process was soon afterwards known as pasteurisation (or "pasteurization" in America).Ullmann 384] Beverage contamination led Pasteur to conclude that microorganisms infected animals and humans as well. He proposed preventing the entry of microorganisms into the human body, leading Joseph Lister to develop antiseptic methods in surgery.In 1865, two parasitic diseases called pébrine and flacherie were killing great numbers of silkworms at Alais (now Alès). Pasteur worked several years proving it was a microbe attacking silkworm eggs which caused the disease, and that eliminating this microbe within silkworm nurseries would eradicate the disease.Catholic Ency. par. 4] Pasteur also discovered anaerobiosis, whereby some microorganisms can develop and live without air or oxygen, called the Pasteur effect. [ cite web|url=http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/biomi290/MOVIES/PASTEUR.HTML|title=The Pasteur Effect|date=June 10, 2004|accessdate=2007-12-02|publisher=Cornell University]

Immunology and vaccination

Pasteur's later work on diseases included work on chicken cholera. During this work, a culture of the responsible bacteria had spoiled and failed to induce the disease in some chickens he was infecting with the disease. Upon reusing these healthy chickens, Pasteur discovered that he could not infect them, even with fresh bacteria; the weakened bacteria had caused the chickens to become immune to the disease, even though they had only caused mild symptoms.Catholic Ency. par. 5] Ullmann 385] His assistant, Charles Chamberland, had been instructed to inoculate the chickens after Pasteur went on holiday. Chamberland failed to do this, but instead went on holiday himself. On his return, the month old cultures made the chickens unwell, but instead of the infection being fatal, as it usually was, the chickens recovered completely. Chamberland assumed an error had been made, and wanted to discard the apparently faulty culture when Pasteur stopped him. Pasteur guessed the recovered animals now might be immune to the disease, as were the animals at Eure-et-Loir that had recovered from anthrax. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=uNziSqWxtBwC&pg=PA278&lpg=PA278&dq=pasteur+loir+anthax&source=web&ots=zhAyWjV5CL&sig=W-ODafIbuqkV5eE9AyI0rmpnDv8 Miller] 278-279] In the 1870s he applied this immunisation method to anthrax, which affected cattle, and aroused interest in combating other diseases.

Allegations of deception

In 1995, the centennial of the death of Louis Pasteur, the "The New York Times" ran an article titled "Pasteur's Deceptions". After having thoroughly read Pasteur's lab notes the science historian Gerald L. Geison declared that Pasteur had given a misleading account of the experiment on anthrax vaccine at Pouilly-le-Fort [See Gerald Geison, "The Private Science of Louis Pasteur", Princeton University Press, 1995. ISBN 069101552X.] .

Honors and final days

Pasteur won the Leeuwenhoek medal, microbiology's highest honor, in 1895. [ [http://www.asm.org/microbe/index.asp?bid=27155 Microbe Magazine: Awards: Leeuwenhoek Medal] ] He was a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor, one of only 75 in all of France. He died in 1895, near Paris, from complications of a series of strokes that had started in 1868. He died while listening to the story of St Vincent de Paul, whom he admired and sought to emulate.Catholic Ency. par. 9] [ws|"" in the 1913 "Catholic Encyclopedia".] He was buried in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, but his remains were reinterred in a crypt in the Institut Pasteur, Paris, where he is remembered for his life-saving work.Both the Institut Pasteur and Université Louis Pasteur were named after him.Pasteur was ranked #12 in the 1978 edition of Michael H. Hart's controversial book, . However, Pasteur was promoted to no. 11, replacing Karl Marx in the 1992 revised edition of the book.cite book |title=The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History |last=Hart |first=Michael H. |year=1992 |publisher=Citadel Press |isbn=0806513500 |pages=pp.60-61]


*;Influence on medicine and society

External links

* [http://www.pasteur.fr/english.html The Institut Pasteur] - Foundation Dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases through biological research, education and public health activities
* [http://www.pasteurfoundation.org The Pasteur Foundation] - A US nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the mission of the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Full archive of newsletters available online containing examples of US Tributes to Louis Pasteur.
* [http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cphl/history/articles/pasteur.htm Pasteur's Papers on the Germ Theory]
* [http://php.pasteur.net/index.php?newlang=english The Pasteur Galaxy]
* [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1878pasteur-germ.html Germ Theory and Its Applications to Medicine and Surgery, 1878]
* [http://www.life.com/Life/millennium/events/06.html LIFE magazine's top 100 events of the millennium: Germ theory of disease and Pasteur]
* [http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/AB/BC/Louis_Pasteur.html Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)] The complete work of Pasteur can be freely downloaded on site of BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica) (click on « Télécharger » (right, at the top)), with specific links:
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7356c Pasteur Œuvre tome 1 – Dissymétrie moléculaire]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7357p Pasteur Œuvre tome 2 – Fermentations et générations dites spontanées]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k73580 Pasteur Œuvre tome 3 – Etude sur le vinaigre et le vin]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k73599 Pasteur Œuvre tome 4– Etude sur la maladie des vers à soie]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7360s Pasteur Œuvre tome 5 – Etude sur la bière]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k73613 Pasteur Œuvre tome 6 - Maladie virulentes. Virus. Vaccins, Prophylaxie de la rage]
*fr icon PDF| [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k26736r Pasteur – Correspondances (1840-1895)]

Different articles published by Pasteur can be free downloaded on site of BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gallica) in the differents books of « Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences » [http://math-doc.ujf-grenoble.fr/RBSM/cr-gallica.html Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences (free downloaded)] .

NAME=Pasteur, Louis
SHORT DESCRIPTION=French microbiologist and chemist
DATE OF BIRTH=birth date|1822|12|27|df=y
PLACE OF BIRTH=Dole, Jura, France
DATE OF DEATH=death date|1895|9|28|df=y
PLACE OF DEATH=Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, Dole

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  • Louis Pasteur —     Louis Pasteur     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Louis Pasteur     Chemist, founder of physio chemistry, father of bacteriology, inventor of bio therapeutics; born at Dole, Jura, France, 27 December, 1822; died near Sevres, 28 September, 1895. His …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Louis Pasteur — (1822 1895) fue un químico francés cuyos descubrimientos tuvieron enorme importancia en diversos campos de las ciencias naturales, sobre todo en la química y microbiología. A él se debe la técnica conocida como pasteurización …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Louis Pasteur — noun French chemist and biologist whose discovery that fermentation is caused by microorganisms resulted in the process of pasteurization (1822 1895) • Syn: ↑Pasteur • Derivationally related forms: ↑Pasteurian (for: ↑Pasteur), ↑pasteurize (for …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Louis Pasteur — Azar El azar favorece a una mente bien entrenada. Ciencia En los campos de la observación, el azar no favorece sino a los espíritus preparados. Las ciencias aplicadas no existen, lo que existen son aplicaciones de las ciencias. Idea Desgraciados… …   Diccionario de citas

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