Louis Pasteur was born in 1822. He became
a chemist and taught at many leading universities in France including
the Sorbonne (the University of Paris).
||Pasteur devoted his life to finding practical solutions for biological problems in industry, agriculture and medicine. His discoveries saved millions of lives. These include, the process of Pasteurization, and preventions for diseases such as rabies, cholera and anthrax.
He began to experiment with
bacteria and infection in the making of wine, beer and vinegar. He found that fermentation was not just a simple chemical reaction but was only produced in the presence of living organisms. Thus he discovered that fermentation and infections were caused by microbes,or germs. This turned out to be a great discovery for medicine.
studies led him to develop the process called pasteurization (named
after its inventor). Pasteurization is a process in which milk
is treated to reduce the bacteria it contains and so protect people
from disease. In those days, milk could only be kept for three to four
hours before it went sour. Disease was often transferred through drinking
Pasteur's discovery of pasteurization made every day life safer especially for infants and young children.
studies led him to a solution to control silkworm disease, so
that silk could be produced.. Silk production was an important industry
for France in those days, especially in the city of Lyon. When silkworm disease hit, thousands of silk weavers lot their jobs. Pasteur's help saved the industry, and the jobs of many people.
He also studied many very dangerous
contagious diseases for animals and people, such as anthrax and
rabies. In the 1800's, these were diseases which were very common
and killed thousands of people and animals every year. Many of those diseases are now rare because of the work that Pasteur carried out after this initial discovery.
Rabies was found in dogs in every town during Pasteur's time. Dogs with the disease frothed at the mouth and became enraged and very vicious. The disease may be caught from the bite of an infected dog. It makes
people have fear of water so that they die of thirst. Pasteur successfully developed a vaccine against this.
is a terrible and very painful disease of sheep which can be caught
by people. Pasteur
successfully developed a vaccine against this disease too.
Cholera was a constant fear for town dwellers, since it was a disease spread through drinking contaminated water. At this time, lack of hygiene and proper sewerage meant that pure drinking water was very difficult to find in towns. Epidemics of cholera killed thousands of people each year. Pasteur developed a vaccine that could be used against this disease.
These discoveries eventually brought Pasteur his long deserved recognition by his peers and the general public.
Pasteur died in 1895. He is recognised as the father of bacteriology, or the study of germs.