Louis Pasteur

21 October 2017

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* December 27, 1822 in Dole (Jura / France)

† 28 September 1895 in Villeneuve-l'Etang (near Paris)

Although Louis Pasteur is one of the founder of modern medicine, he was not a doctor, but a chemist and bacteriologist. He led the medicine to bacteriology, was a pioneer of antisepsis and dared thus to give the doctors teachings. He also laid the foundations for the development of biology and biochemistry and for microbiology and immunology.

Louis Pasteur was the son of a tanner, who owed his education to the support of family friends. After leaving school at the Collège Royal in Besancon in 1842 he went to Paris, where from 1843 to 1846, he studied natural sciences at the Ecole Normale Superieure. In 1847 he received his doctorate in both physics and in chemistry. In 1849 he was appointed professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, which now bears his name. After teaching assignments in Lille and the Sorbonne he was from 1888 until his death Director of created for him the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Pasteur was particularly interested in the chemical difference between fermentation and putrefaction. Therefore, he started in 1850 to deal with the fermentation, ie the fermentation - an important process, for example in the leather industry (his family lived from this activity), the bakery, in the food sector and in the brewing industry.

At the now common processing of vegetable raw materials and production of antibiotics by fermentation processes was not yet thinking. After the situation at that time fermentation and putrefaction were produced by dead enzymes in organic matter. In a work from 1857 Pasteur, however, showed that fermentation is a reaction of very tiny cells as a result of their life process. Through extensive studies of rot and decay he arrived in 1863 to the realization that here too the smallest, unicellular organisms at work that is (only in the absence of oxygen by splitting"by itself"multiply). Under air was fed in corruption, so decomposition, especially of proteins. Pasteur described the tiny, spherical, screw or rod-shaped microorganisms "Spaltpilze" - later they were called bacteria or microbes.

Through years, experimenting-planned discovered Pasteur that the tiny creatures that cause the fermentation and putrefaction are not heat resistant. Consequently, one can make liquids sterilized by heating, thus maintaining before fermentation or decomposition without valuable components damaged or modified or lost. In his study of the "Diseases of wine" from 1863 showed Pasteur that the ubiquitous vinegar fungus produces acetic acid and thus the formation and preservation of wine influenced - 1876 a study was published on the "Diseases of beer", Pasteur showed that minutes long heating of the wine in the closed bottle at 69 ° to 75 ° C to prevent the subsequent degradation of the wine. He had the principle of "pasteurization" invented. The milk, which we refine our morning coffee or feed our infants, many foods, fruit juices, soft drinks and beer, for example, are heat-treated, ie pasteurized.

In the course of his research Pasteur came to the conclusion that certain diseases were caused by bacteria. This led in 1870 to the discovery of the causative agent of silkworm disease (Pebrine and Flacherie), which Pasteur saved the threatened their existence Lyons silk industry. Of medically utmost importance, however, were his studies of the anthrax, which he discovered in 1877, and the causative agent of fowl cholera, he found the 1880th With the development of a vaccine against rabies and on the other hand the first vaccination in 1885. Pasteur finally initiated the era of "active immunization",

Even during his lifetime Louis Pasteur was a national hero and winner of numerous domestic and foreign awards. The French government thanked him not only with an annuity, but erected in his honor with the "Institut Pasteur" its own research center, its first director Pasteur until his death was. However, he has awarded by the Bonn Medical Faculty honorary doctorate degree in protest against the "barbarism" Deutsche returned during the Franco-German War. Since a stroke in 1868 Pasteur was paralyzed partially on one side, with the symptoms worsened with age. When he celebrated his 70th birthday, he took the honors with tears contrary, but he could not speak the words of gratitude.


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