The Contributions of Louis Pasteur

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  • Topic: Louis Pasteur, Germ theory of disease, Microorganism
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The Contributions of Louis Pasteur
Sarah E. Gibson
Haywood Community College
BIO 175 IN1

Louis Pasteur is believed to be one of the most important contributors of microbiology. Pasteur was born in Dole, France on December 27, 1822 and died in Saint Cloud on September 28, 1895. Pasteur attended primary school in Arbois, France and he attended secondary school in Besancon. In 1840 Pasteur received his Bachelor of Arts and in 1842 he received his Bachelor of Science degree at the Royal College of Besancon. Pasteur then received his Master of Science degree in 1845 and his doctorate in sciences in 1847. Some of Pasteur’s greatest contributions include his work on biogenesis and disproval of spontaneous generation, research on child bed fever, pasteurization, and vaccination for rabies. (Ullmann)

One of Pasteur’s greatest contributions is his work on biogenesis and the disproval of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation was the theory that beetles, maggots, eels, and microbes could arise spontaneously from putrefying matter. This theory brought with is speculation and debate, but Pasteur’s experiments disproved this theory. Pasteur developed experiments that proved that the skins of the grape were the source of the yeast. In one of his experiments Pasteur found that by using a needle to extract juice from under the skin the juice collected would not ferment. To prove that the dust in the air carried the contamination Pasteur collected air at different altitudes and allowed it to enter sterilized vessels filled with solutions that could ferment. The higher altitudes that had less dust in the air produced fewer flasks that presented growth. However, the experiment that closed the argument was one in which fermentable juice was placed in a sterilized flask and the neck was heated and drawn out into a shape that resembled the neck of a swan. With the end of the neck sealed the contents did not change. When the flask was opened at the end of the neck air...
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