Louis Pasteur Biography
This French Scientist first discovered the dangers of germs and identified their cause, pastuerization, treatments and vaccinations for Tetannus, Tuberculosis, Diptheria and Rabies.
Louis Pasteur was born December 27, 1822 in Dole, a region of Jura, France. Known worldwide as the man whose discoveries most changed medicine, Pasteur graduated as a scientist from Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Several years later, Pasteur would serve as a Professor of Chemistry and Dean at the Lille Faculty of Sciences (which he organized in 1854) and Director of Scientific Studies at Ecole Normale, his alma mater.
Louis Pasteur was first to describe the scientific basis of fermentation (or more specifically), how wine and beer come to be. Shunned by doctors and fellow scientists, Pasteur documented in great detail the method which allowed sugar to turn into alcohol, by way of yeast. Studying the transformation over a course of several years, Pasteur finally concluded that each type of fermentation was induced by a specific kind of germ. This discovery would lead Pasteur to become the forefather of microbiological sciences and the first person to define the word "germ."
Founding the Pasteur Institute in 1887, Pasteur toiled over a way to reduce the growing rabbit population in France by employing biochemical agents. Though largely unsuccessful at first, it was this research that Pasteur would use to bring to light the fact that contagions were indeed the cause of disease. By identifying individual microbes that were present in the human body during illness, Pasteur was able to formulate a means of protecting people against the hazards of both germs and viruses. Pasteur is credited with pinpointing the cause of many contagious diseases of the late 1800's and then, developing vaccines to treat and prevent them. Out of Pasteur's conclusions and data would come vaccinations for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Anthrax, Chicken Cholera, Silkworm Disease, Tuberculosis, and the dreaded Plague.
Once Pasteur had unearthed the cause of disease and illness, he set his sights on finding a way in which the common man could guard himself against the transmission of germs. In 1858, he confirmed the antibacterial action of garlic, which would later be dispersed to seriously ill patients as a means of nursing infection and Plague. The principles of sterilization were soon born, and Pasteur would spend a great deal of his time working with local hospitals and doctors, assisting in discovering new ways to sterilize equipment, environments and eliminate the spread of disease. This practice would later be termed, "the germ theory of disease."
Pasteur also delved into the study of animals and disease. He was the first to determine that rabies was transmitted by agents so small they could not be identified under a microscope. Armed with this knowledge and alarmed by his findings, he founded a technique to vaccinate dogs against the disease and to treat humans that had been bitten by rabid animals.
Louis Pasteur is most well known for the invention of pasteurization, a process by which harmful bacteria in perishable food products are destroyed using heat, but leaving the original product unharmed. Pasteur applied his theory to the preservation of beverages (including milk) and solid foods.
Louis Pasteur died in 1895. Pasteur's phenomenal contributions to microbiology and medicine continue today at the Institute. It was there that the gene responsible for AIDS was first identified and isolated, permitting scientists and medical professionals to further study the ravishing effects of AIDS patients, and seek out potential life saving or altering therapies.
Today, the Pasteur Institute is one of the world's leading research centers, housing 100 research facilities and employing more than 2700 scientists. Annually, more than 600 scientists from 70 different countries visit the Institute to both study and contribute to the work that Pasteur first began in the mid 1800's. The Pasteur Institute also serves as a global network of 24 foreign institutes devoted to the treatment of medical problems in developing nations. A teaching hospital at the Pasteur Institute specializes in infectious and immune diseases, closely working with AIDS and Cancer patients to devise new ways of aggressively treating and preventing disease. A Graduate Study Center and Epidemiological Screening Unit strive to identify new microorganisms and further the invention of ways to doctor them.