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Pasteurs Life and Work

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The early life of Pasteur began in the small town of Ole, which is near the town of Arbois. He was the only son of Jean Pasteur. As a young child he didn't really like the subjects of the normal. He would of much rather been fishing or drawing of some type. His art was so good in fact everyone thought he could of gone professional. As he went through college he started gaining an interest in chemistry and other scientific subjects. After the convincing of the headmaster at Pasteur's first college, he decided to enroll in Ecole Normale Sup in Paris. This University is made to train students in the learning of science and letters. It is here where his interest in science became his future!

A controversy was around in science about spontaneous generation. It was the idea that living things were being produced by non-living things. Pasteur needed to conduct an experiment to settle this once and for all. He said that the skin of the grapes was the source of the yeast. He took some of the grapes juice and covered it with a fine cloth to keep off dust. He let air in at different altitudes to show that the dust was contaminating the objects. It showed that the higher the altitude the less dust was present. He then put the juice in a flask that had a swan-neck attached. If the end of the neck was clipped the dust would just collect on the sides of the neck. The juice would still be sterile. He than tipped the juice onto the contaminated walls, and the growth of microorganisms began to grow. Finally ending the controversy.

He was asked to learn and try to cure the disease that silk worms had, that was affecting the silk industry. He knew nothing about the worms, or that they had a disease. He found out that there were two different types of diseases that were very distinguishable. He instructed the silk worm farmers to look at the worms under a microscope to tell if they we diseased. He also found that healthy worms become sick if they come in contact to diseased ones. If they are diseased they have a very inaccurate life span. The life and habitat are also major factors. The silk industry has then been restored.

One of the greatest achievements of Pastures life was the devolvement of the germ theory of disease and the use of vaccines to prevent these diseases. His study on the infection of wine and beer by airborne yeast clearly demonstrated that these infections were caused by entry of foreign microorganisms. Authorities in England were so infatuated by his work that they began to sterilize their instruments and bandages during operations to contain infections following surgery.

The crowning achievement of his life was the development of a vaccine against rabies. This disease has always scared the general public. Prior to his vaccines the treatments were as bad as the symptoms. He and his colleague worked on this vaccine by attempting



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