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Louis Pasteur

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Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Louis Pasteur (Born::December 27, 1822Died::September 28, 1895) was a French chemist, microbiologist, devout Catholic, and creationist. His discovery that most infectious diseases are caused by germs, known as the "germ theory of disease," is one of the most important in medical history. From his work also stemmed additional branches of science: stereochemistry, bacteriology, virology, immunology, and molecular biology. He is considered by many today to be the father of modern microbiology.

Other very significant contributions to science include the process of pasteurization, which bears his name, and the debunking of the once popular idea of spontaneous generation. After obtaining his results regarding his spontaneous generation experiments, Pasteur stated: "La génération spontanée est une chimère" ("Spontaneous generation is a dream"). A central tenet in biology today is now 'Omne vivum ex vivo', Latin for "all life [is] from life." A related statement is Omnis cellula e cellula, "all cells [are] from cells;". Louis discovered that heating foods such as wine, beer or milk briefly to 135° F. destroyed the dangerous microbes without ruining the flavor.

In 1847, while a student at the Ecole Normale, Pasteur found that molecular asymmetry differentiates the organic world from the mineral world. He used this knowledge to determine that fermentation of alcohol was not a purely chemical process, but required microorganisms.

Louis also discovered three bacteria: staphylococcus, streptococcus and pneumococcus. He developed vaccines against chicken cholera, anthrax, swine erysipelas, and rabies. His rabies treatment was tested on a man in 1885 for the first time.

Pasteur's son-in-law (Rene Vallery Radot) said that absolute faith in God and in eternity were feelings which filled Louis Pasteur's whole life. In his panegyric of Littré, whose fauteuil he took, he said: "Happy the man who bears within him a divinity, an ideal of beauty and obeys it; and ideal of art, and ideal of science, an ideal of country, and ideal of the virtues of the Gospel."[1]

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