This article will give you information about the renowned French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur. His name is written in the ‘history of medicine’ in golden words, along with Alexander Fleming, Robert Koch and Joseph Lister.
Who is Louis Pasteur? The great scientist was born on December 27, 1822, in the small town of Dole, France. Jean-Joseph Pasteur and Jeanne Roqui are his parents. Pasteur’s father was a tanner by trade. And tanning was their family business. Jean-Joseph had received little education, so he wanted his son to become a teacher at the local lycee high school. Pasteur spent his early school days in the small town of Arbois. There he was regarded as an average student. But his headmaster spotted the potential in him and encouraged him to prepare for the École Normale Supérieure. This is a huge training college for teachers located in Paris.
So, at the age of fifteen Pasteur went to Paris to prepare for his entrance exam. But homesickness made him to travel back to France. There he continued his study and received his bachelor’s degree in letters from the Collège Royal de Besançon. At the age of twenty, he tried again in Paris and this time he won the entrance exam. Thus, he was admitted to the École Normale.
Pasteur was awarded his doctorate in 1847. His doctorate thesis was on crystallography. He engaged several years of his life in teaching and carrying out research at Dijon and Strasbourg. From there he moved to the University of Lille to become a professor of chemistry. Wherever he goes, he continues his research works. In the University of Lille, he continued his research work on fermentation, which he started at Strasbourg. In 1857 he discovered the Pasteur Effect. This made him world famous, and at that time he returned to Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris as a lecturer. From there he moved to Lille University to become a dean of the science department. After working there for a couple of years, he established a laboratory for his rabies vaccine in 1867. Later the laboratory became Pasteur Institute and he was the head of it until his death in 1895.
What are Louis Pasteur’s contributions to the world of science? Louis Pasteur invented pasteurization and discovered the germ theory. Through his studies Pasteur proved that most of the infectious diseases are caused by micro organisms.
What led him to find fermentation process? Louis Pasteur concentrated on the study of fermentation after a local industrialist approached him for an advice concerning the production of alcohol with beet juice. Pasture solved his problem of conversion of beet juice into sour liquid instead of alcohol by finding the growth of bacteria in the medium. His solution for the problem was to heat the wine in sixty degrees Celsius for a short time. This will prevent the growth of bacteria and the wine does not go sour. He advised the same procedure to prevent the souring of milk. This process is widely used all over the world and is called pasteurization.
Another notable contribution of Louis Pasteur is the medicine for rabies, a contagious disease that attacks the central nervous system. People get infected with this infection from the bite of a rabies infected animal. By studying the tissues of the infected animals, Pasteur developed a medicine for the infection. He tested his vaccine on human beings in 1885 and it was a success. Today we are using the modified version of the Pasteur’s therapy. I am a regular viewer of programs and documentaries related to modern and ancient discoveries and findings on my HD television connected to Satellite TV Providers. Such programs not only improve our knowledge but also encourage us to find something new.