Microbiology Pioneers

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Contributors to Microbiology

Pioneers of Microbiology
I. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (Oct. 24, 1632- Aug. 30, 1723) A. In 1676 Leeuwenhoek saw tiny organisms in water, he was the first man to observe and describe bacteria accurately. He discovered microscopic nematodes, blood cells and sperm. He also made over 500 microscopes to view specific objects. B. Microbiology is concerned with the study of all forms of life that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Antonie’s work dealt with bacteria, which are tiny microorganisms that can only be seen  with the help of instruments like the microscope, which he invented. II. John Tyndall (Aug. 2, 1820- Dec. 4, 1893)

C. In 1877 Tyndall demonstrated that dust carries microorganisms. He showed that if dust was absent, nutrient broths remained sterile, even if directly exposed to air. He also provided evidence for the existence of exceptionally heat-resistant forms of bacteria (endospores). He proposed tyndallization, a method of sterilization that can be used to destroy spores. D. Microbiology deals with everything pertaining to microorganisms including , but not limited to the way they reproduce. Tyndall’s work assisted with the understanding of just that. III. Nicolas Appert (Nov. 17, 1749- June 1, 1841)

E. He coined the term appertisation, which is the process of destroying all the micro-organisms of significance in food. He also invented the process of canning. F. Food microbiology is the study of the microorganisms that inhabit, create, or contaminate food. This includes the study of microorganisms that cause food spoilage. IV. Theodor Schwann (Dec. 7, 1810- Jan. 11, 1882)

G. Schwann identified the role played by microorganisms in alcohol fermentation and putrefaction processes. He also came up with the “cell theory”, which states that all living things are composed of cells. H. Microbiology includes the study of all aspects of the biology of microorganisms. The science of cell biology is no exception, being that cells are the building blocks of life for all living things whether it be plant, animal or microorganism. V. Robert Koch (Dec. 11, 1843- May 27, 1910)

I. Koch proposed the “germ theory of disease” which states that microbes cause diseases in 1876. He discovered tuberculosis bacilli in 1882 and showed that all forms of tuberculosis were caused by the same bacillus. In 1877 he introduced the method of making smears of bacteria on glass slides and staining them with aniline dyes. In 1881 Koch introduced the plate method for isolating pure cultures. In 1884 he came up with "Koch's postulates”, the critical test for the involvement of a microorganism in a disease. J. Koch developed a lot of microbiological techniques that are still being used today. VI. Louis Joblot (1645 – 1723)

K. In 1718, Joblot constructed the side-pillar compound microscope that utilizes stops or diaphragms to help correct chromatic aberration and includes a brass lens cap. Joblot showed that microbes were produced by multiplication of microbes brought in on the hay or suspended in the air, not spontaneously. L. Also, he was the first to address the issue of the origin of microbes in infusion of decaying organic materials experimentally. VII. Carolus Linnaeus (1707 – 1778)

M. Linnaeus’s new system provide a well-organized way of classifying known plants and animals, while at the same time providing a method of naming and grouping new specimens. Linnaeus main focus was on the number of observable characteristics of the organism, specifically its physical structure and details of reproduction. N. Linnaeus also developed a two-part naming system(called binomial nomenclature) in which each living organism was given a two-part Latin name to distinguish it from all. VIII. Hans Christian Joachim Gram (1853 – 1938)

O. In 1804, Gram published his work on staining cells, which...
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