University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Scientist Louis Pasteur’s work not only saved but also protects millions of people from disease every day. His scientific achievements sparked the early development of the food safety industry. His most noted achievement was the birth of germ theory. Initially, Pasteur was asked to examine why alcohol becomes contaminated during fermentation. According to his research Pasteur stated that bacterial organism were responsible for souring the alcohol.
This discovery evoked him to look into finding where exactly bacteria came from and later to examine the relationship between bacteria and diseases. Thus giving birth to what we now refer to as Germ Theory. The key to the development of Germ Theory, and understanding the relationship between bacteria and disease, was the concept of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation is based on the idea that, living things can arise from non-living matter. Pasteur reached this conclusion after conducting and experiment.
In his experiment Pasteur created a unique glass flask which had a long neck that pointed downward. The flask was designed to allow air into the container but did not allow particles from the air to drift down into the body of the flask. He later went on to boil nutrient broths in these special flasks. In doing so Pasteur found that his flask remained free of microbes until he broke the necks, which allowed particles from the air to drift into the flask.
He realized the particles from the air where what generated the microbial bacteria. Soon after, Pasteur began to utilize the knowledge he had gained from his experiment to investigate various infectious diseases. One example was silkworm diseases which was destroying France’s silk industry. In doing this, he not only discovered how these infectious agents could be treated and prevented, but also confirmed that each disease is caused by a specific microbe.
Based upon this discovery he was able to create basic rules of sterilization which were formulate to kill microbes and control contamination. Louie Pasteur’s work has saved countless live. His discoveries have forever revolutionizing our ability to control the spread of diseases. Pasteur did not settle after his discovery of Germ Theory he continued his studies of diseases for a majority of his life and went on to create vaccines for chicken cholera, anthrax, swine erysipelas, and rabies.