Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Overview
Louis Pasteur was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 and microbiologist
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

 born in Dole
Dole, Jura
Dole is a commune in the Jura department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France, of which it is a subprefecture ....

. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever
Puerperal fever
Puerperal fever or childbed fever, is a bacterial infection contracted by women during childbirth or miscarriage. It can develop into puerperal sepsis, which is a serious form of septicaemia. If untreated, it is often fatal....

, and he created the first vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

 for rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 and anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

. His experiments supported the germ theory of disease
Germ theory of disease
The germ theory of disease, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a theory that proposes that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases...

. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness, a process that came to be called pasteurization
Pasteurization
Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food...

.
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Quotations

Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.

In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.

There does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are sciences and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit of the tree which bears it.

Revue Scientifique (1871)

L' univers est dissymetrique...

The universe is asymmetric and I am persuaded that life, as it is known to us, is a direct result of the asymmetry of the universe or of its indirect consequences. The universe is asymmetric.

Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.

As quoted in The Literary Digest (18 October 1902)

Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism.

As quoted in The Louisville & Nashville Employes' Magazine Vol. 20 (1944)‎, p. 28

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

As quoted in Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1960) by René Jules Dubos, Ch. 3 "Pasteur in Action"
Encyclopedia
Louis Pasteur was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 and microbiologist
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

 born in Dole
Dole, Jura
Dole is a commune in the Jura department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France, of which it is a subprefecture ....

. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever
Puerperal fever
Puerperal fever or childbed fever, is a bacterial infection contracted by women during childbirth or miscarriage. It can develop into puerperal sepsis, which is a serious form of septicaemia. If untreated, it is often fatal....

, and he created the first vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

 for rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 and anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

. His experiments supported the germ theory of disease
Germ theory of disease
The germ theory of disease, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a theory that proposes that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases...

. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness, a process that came to be called pasteurization
Pasteurization
Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food...

. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

, together with Ferdinand Cohn
Ferdinand Cohn
Ferdinand Julius Cohn was a German biologist.Cohn was born in Breslau in the Prussian Province of Silesia. At the age of 10 he suffered hearing impairment. He received a degree in botany in 1847 at the age of nineteen at the University of Berlin. He was a teacher and researcher at University of...

 and Robert Koch
Robert Koch
Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch was a German physician. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis , the Tuberculosis bacillus and the Vibrio cholerae and for his development of Koch's postulates....

. Pasteur also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, most notably the molecular basis for the asymmetry
Asymmetry
Asymmetry is the absence of, or a violation of, symmetry.-In organisms:Due to how cells divide in organisms, asymmetry in organisms is fairly usual in at least one dimension, with biological symmetry also being common in at least one dimension....

 of certain crystals. His body lies beneath the Institute Pasteur in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in a spectacular vault
Burial vault (tomb)
A burial vault is a structural underground tomb.It is a stone or brick-lined underground space or 'burial' chamber for the interment of a dead body or bodies. They were originally and are still often vaulted and usually have stone slab entrances...

 covered in depictions of his accomplishments in Byzantine mosaics.

Early life and biography



Louis Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822, in Dole
Dole, Jura
Dole is a commune in the Jura department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France, of which it is a subprefecture ....

 in the Jura region of France, into the family of a poor tanner
Tanning
Tanning is the making of leather from the skins of animals which does not easily decompose. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name . Coloring may occur during tanning...

. Louis grew up in the town of Arbois
Arbois
Arbois is a commune in the Jura department in Franche-Comté in eastern France. The Cuisance River passes through the town, which has some pretty streets lined with ancient houses...

. He gained degrees in Letters and in Mathematical Sciences before entering the École Normale Supérieure
École Normale Supérieure
The École normale supérieure is one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles...

, an elite college. After serving briefly as professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 at Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 at the University of Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

, in 1849. They were married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood; the other three died of typhoid. These personal tragedies inspired Pasteur to try to find cures for diseases such as typhoid.

Work on chirality and the polarization of light



In Pasteur's early work as a chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

, he resolved a problem concerning the nature of tartaric acid
Tartaric acid
Tartaric acid is a white crystalline diprotic organic acid. It occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grapes, bananas, and tamarinds; is commonly combined with baking soda to function as a leavening agent in recipes, and is one of the main acids found in wine. It is added to other foods to...

 (1848). A solution of this compound derived from living things (specifically, wine lees
Lees (fermentation)
Lees refers to deposits of dead yeast or residual yeast and other particles that precipitate, or are carried by the action of "fining", to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and ageing. The yeast deposits in beer brewing are known as trub...

) rotated the plane of polarization of light passing through it. The mystery was that tartaric acid derived by chemical synthesis
Chemical synthesis
In chemistry, chemical synthesis is purposeful execution of chemical reactions to get a product, or several products. This happens by physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions...

 had no such effect, even though its chemical reactions were identical and its elemental composition was the same. This was the first time anyone had demonstrated chiral
Chirality (chemistry)
A chiral molecule is a type of molecule that lacks an internal plane of symmetry and thus has a non-superimposable mirror image. The feature that is most often the cause of chirality in molecules is the presence of an asymmetric carbon atom....

 molecules.

Pasteur's doctoral thesis on crystallography
Crystallography
Crystallography is the experimental science of the arrangement of atoms in solids. The word "crystallography" derives from the Greek words crystallon = cold drop / frozen drop, with its meaning extending to all solids with some degree of transparency, and grapho = write.Before the development of...

 attracted the attention of W. T. Fuillet and he helped Pasteur garner a position of professor of chemistry at the Faculté (College) of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

.

In the year of 1854, Louis was named Dean of the new Faculty of Sciences in Lille
Université Lille Nord de France
The University of Lille -Nord de France , located in Lille, France, is a center for higher education, academic research and doctoral studies located over multiple campuses in the Academie de Lille....

. (It was on this occasion that Pasteur uttered his oft-quoted remark: "...dans les champs de l'observation, le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés" (In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.)) In 1856, he was made administrator and director of scientific studies of the École Normale Supérieure
École Normale Supérieure
The École normale supérieure is one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles...

.

Germ theory of disease


Pasteur demonstrated that fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 is caused by the growth of micro-organisms, and that the emergent growth of bacteria in nutrient broths is not due to spontaneous generation
Spontaneous generation
Spontaneous generation or Equivocal generation is an obsolete principle regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence, as distinguished from univocal generation, or reproduction from parent...

 but rather to biogenesis
Biogenesis
Biogenesis is the law that living things come only from other living things, e.g. a spider lays eggs, which develop into spiders. It may also refer to biochemical processes of production in living organisms.-Spontaneous generation:...

 (Omne vivum ex vivo  "all life is from life").

He exposed boiled broths to air in vessels that contained a filter to prevent all particles from passing through to the growth medium, and even in vessels with no filter at all, with air being admitted via a long tortuous tube that would not allow dust particles to pass. Nothing grew in the broths unless the flasks were broken open; therefore, the living organisms that grew in such broths came from outside, as spores on dust, rather than spontaneously generated within the broth. This was one of the last and most important experiments disproving the theory of spontaneous generation. The experiment also supported germ theory.

While Pasteur was not the first to propose germ theory (Girolamo Fracastoro
Girolamo Fracastoro
Girolamo Fracastoro was an Italian physician, poet, and scholar in mathematics, geography and astronomy. Fracastoro subscribed to the philosophy of atomism, and rejected appeals to hidden causes in scientific investigation....

, Agostino Bassi
Agostino Bassi
Agostino Bassi, sometimes called de Lodi, was an Italian entomologist. He preceded Louis Pasteur in the discovery that microorganisms can be the cause of disease...

, Friedrich Henle
Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle
Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle was a German physician, pathologist and anatomist. He is credited with the discovery of the loop of Henle in the kidney. His essay "On Miasma and Contagia" was an early argument for the germ theory of disease...

 and others had suggested it earlier), he developed it and conducted experiments that clearly indicated its correctness and managed to convince most of Europe it was true. Today he is often regarded as the father of germ theory and bacteriology
Bacteriology
Bacteriology is the study of bacteria. This subdivision of microbiology involves the identification, classification, and characterization of bacterial species...

, together with Robert Koch
Robert Koch
Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch was a German physician. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis , the Tuberculosis bacillus and the Vibrio cholerae and for his development of Koch's postulates....

.

Pasteur's research also showed that the growth of micro-organisms was responsible for spoiling beverages, such as beer, wine and milk. With this established, he invented a process in which liquids such as milk were heated to kill most bacteria and moulds already present within them. He and Claude Bernard
Claude Bernard
Claude Bernard was a French physiologist. He was the first to define the term milieu intérieur . Historian of science I. Bernard Cohen of Harvard University called Bernard "one of the greatest of all men of science"...

 completed the first test on April 20, 1862. This process was soon afterwards known as pasteurization
Pasteurization
Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food...

.

Beverage contamination led Pasteur to the idea that micro-organisms infecting animals and humans cause disease. He proposed preventing the entry of micro-organisms into the human body, leading Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister
Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister OM, FRS, PC , known as Sir Joseph Lister, Bt., between 1883 and 1897, was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery, who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary...

 to develop antiseptic
Antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

 methods in surgery
Surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

.

In 1865, two parasitic diseases called pébrine
Pébrine
Pébrine is a disease of silkworms, which is caused by microsporidian parasites, mainly Nosema bombycis and to a lesser extent Variomorpha, Pleistophora and Thelophania species....

 and flacherie
Flacherie
Flacherie is a disease of silkworms, caused by silkworms eating infected or contaminated mulberry leaves. Flacherie infected silkworms look weak and can die from this disease...

 were killing great numbers of silkworms at Alais (now Alès
Alès
Alès is a commune in the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. It is one of the sub-prefectures of the department. It was formerly known as Alais.-Geography:...

). Pasteur worked several years proving it was a microbe attacking silkworm eggs which caused the disease, and that eliminating this microbe within silkworm nurseries would eradicate the disease.

Pasteur also discovered anaerobiosis, whereby some micro organisms can develop and live without air or oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

, called the Pasteur effect
Pasteur effect
The Pasteur effect is an inhibiting effect of oxygen on the fermentation process.-Discovery:The effect was discovered in 1857 by Louis Pasteur, who showed that aerating yeasted broth causes yeast cell growth to increase, while conversely, fermentation rate decreases.-Explanation:The effect can be...

.

Immunology and vaccination


Pasteur's later work on diseases included work on chicken cholera. During this work, a culture of the responsible bacteria had spoiled and failed to induce the disease in some chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

s he was infecting with the disease. Upon reusing these healthy chickens, Pasteur discovered that he could not infect them, even with fresh bacteria; the weakened bacteria had caused the chickens to become immune to the disease, even though they had caused only mild symptoms.

His assistant Charles Chamberland
Charles Chamberland
Charles Chamberland was a French microbiologist from Chilly-le-Vignoble in the department of Jura who worked with Louis Pasteur....

 (of French origin) had been instructed to inoculate the chickens after Pasteur went on holiday. Chamberland failed to do this, but instead went on holiday himself. On his return, the month-old cultures made the chickens unwell, but instead of the infection's being fatal, as it usually was, the chickens recovered completely. Chamberland assumed an error had been made, and wanted to discard the apparently faulty culture when Pasteur stopped him. Pasteur guessed the recovered animals now might be immune to the disease, as were the animals at Eure-et-Loir
Eure-et-Loir
Eure-et-Loir is a French department, named after the Eure and Loir rivers.-History:Eure-et-Loir is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790 pursuant to the Act of December 22, 1789...

 that had recovered from anthrax.

In the 1870s, he applied this immunization method to anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

, which affected cattle, and aroused interest in combating other diseases.
Pasteur publicly claimed he had made the anthrax vaccine by exposing the bacillus to oxygen. His laboratory notebooks, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, in fact show Pasteur used the method of rival Jean-Joseph-Henri Toussaint
Jean Joseph Henri Toussaint
Jean Joseph Henri Toussaint was a French veterinarian born in Rouvres-la-Chétive, department of Vosges.In 1869 he received his diploma from the school of veterinary medicine in Lyon...

, a Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 veterinary surgeon
Veterinary surgeon
Veterinary surgeon is a term used to describe:*The full title of a vet, who treats disease, disorder and injury in animals, in the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth countries**See also Veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom...

, to create the anthrax vaccine. This method used the oxidizing agent potassium dichromate. Pasteur's oxygen method did eventually produce a vaccine but only after he had been awarded a patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 on the production of an anthrax vaccine.

The notion of a weak form of a disease causing immunity to the virulent version was not new; this had been known for a long time for smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

. Inoculation with smallpox was known to result in far less scarring, and greatly reduced mortality, in comparison with the naturally acquired disease. Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner
Edward Anthony Jenner was an English scientist who studied his natural surroundings in Berkeley, Gloucestershire...

 had also discovered vaccination
Vaccination
Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate the immune system of an individual to develop adaptive immunity to a disease. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by many pathogens...

, using cowpox
Cowpox
Cowpox is a skin disease caused by a virus known as the Cowpox virus. The pox is related to the vaccinia virus and got its name from the distribution of the disease when dairymaids touched the udders of infected cows. The ailment manifests itself in the form of red blisters and is transmitted by...

 to give cross-immunity to smallpox (in 1796), and by Pasteur's time this had generally replaced the use of actual smallpox material in inoculation. The difference between smallpox vaccination and anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

 or chicken cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 vaccination was that the weakened form of the latter two disease organisms had been generated artificially, and so a naturally weak form of the disease organism did not need to be found.

This discovery revolutionized work in infectious diseases, and Pasteur gave these artificially weakened diseases the generic name of vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

s
, in honour of Jenner's discovery. Pasteur produced the first vaccine for rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 by growing the virus in rabbits, and then weakening it by drying the affected nerve tissue.

The rabies vaccine was initially created by Emile Roux, a French doctor and a colleague of Pasteur who had been working with a killed vaccine produced by desiccating the spinal cords of infected rabbits. The vaccine had been tested only on eleven dogs before its first human trial.

This vaccine was first used on 9-year old Joseph Meister
Joseph Meister
Joseph Meister was the first person to be inoculated against rabies by Louis Pasteur, and the first person to be successfully treated for the infection....

, on July 6, 1885, after the boy was badly mauled by a rabid dog. This was done at some personal risk for Pasteur, since he was not a licensed physician and could have faced prosecution for treating the boy. After consulting with colleagues, Pasteur decided to go ahead with the treatment. Meister did not contract the disease. It is sometimes said that Pasteur saved the boy's life; but this cannot be maintained with certainty, since the risk of contracting rabies after such an exposure is estimated at around 15%. Nonetheless, Pasteur was hailed as a hero and the legal matter was not pursued. The treatment's success laid the foundations for the manufacture of many other vaccines. The first of the Pasteur Institute
Pasteur Institute
The Pasteur Institute is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, who made some of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine at the time, including pasteurization and vaccines for anthrax...

s was also built on the basis of this achievement.

Legal risk was not the only kind Pasteur undertook. In The Story of San Michele
The Story of San Michele
The Story of San Michele is a book of memoirs by Swedish physician Axel Munthe first published in 1929 by British publisher John Murray. Written in English, it was a best-seller in numerous languages and has been republished constantly in the over seven decades since its original...

, Axel Munthe
Axel Munthe
Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe was a Swedish psychiatrist, best known as the author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work....

 writes of the rabies vaccine research:

Because of his study in germs, Pasteur encouraged doctors to sanitize their hands and equipment before surgery. Prior to this, few doctors or their assistants practiced the procedure of washing their hands and equipment.

Allegations of deception


In 1995, the centennial of the death of Louis Pasteur, the New York Times ran an article titled "Pasteur's Deception". After having thoroughly read Pasteur's lab notes, the science historian Gerald L. Geison
Gerald L. Geison
-Career:Gerald L. Geison went on to earn a doctorate in Yale University's Department of the History of Science and Medicine in 1970 and then joined the Princeton faculty, where he was a professor in the history department and the Program in History of Science."He wrote two books, The Private...

 declared that Pasteur had given a misleading account of the preparation of the anthrax vaccine used in the experiment at Pouilly-le-Fort. Max Perutz
Max Perutz
Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM, CH, CBE, FRS was an Austrian-born British molecular biologist, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with John Kendrew, for their studies of the structures of hemoglobin and globular proteins...

 published a vigorous defense of Pasteur in the New York Review of Books.

Faith and spirituality


Although his grandson, Louis Pasteur Vallery-Radot, wrote that Pasteur had only kept from his Catholic background a spiritualism without religious practice, Catholic observers often said that Louis Pasteur remained throughout his whole life an ardent Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, and his son-in-law, in perhaps the most complete biography of Louis Pasteur, writes:
Maurice Vallery-Radot, grandson of the brother of the son-in-law of Pasteur and outspoken Catholic, also holds that Pasteur fundamentally remained Catholic. According to both Pasteur Vallery-Radot and Maurice Vallery-Radot, the following well-known quotation
Quotation
A quotation or quote is the repetition of one expression as part of another one, particularly when the quoted expression is well-known or explicitly attributed by citation to its original source, and it is indicated by quotation marks.A quotation can also refer to the repeated use of units of any...

 attributed to Pasteur is apocryphal: "The more I know, the more nearly is my faith that of the Breton peasant. Could I but know all I would have the faith of a Breton peasant's wife". According to Maurice Vallery-Radot, the false quotation appeared for the first time shortly after the death of Pasteur.

Principal works


Pasteur's principal works are: "Etudes sur le Vin", (1866); "Etudes sur le Vinaigre" (1868); "Etudes sur la Maladie des Vers à Soie" (2 vols., 1870); "Quelques Réflexions sur la Science en France" (1871); "Etudes sur la Bière" (1876); "Les Microbes organisés, leur rôle dans la Fermentation, la Putréfaction et la Contagion" (1878); "Discours de Réception de M.L. Pasteur à l'Académie Française" (1882); "Traitement de la Rage" (1886).

Honors and final days


His death occurred in 1895, near Paris, from complications of a series of strokes that had started in 1868. He died while listening to the story of St Vincent de Paul, whom he admired and sought to emulate. He was buried in the Cathedral of Notre Dame
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

, but his remains were reinterred in a crypt in the Institut Pasteur, Paris, where he is remembered for his life-saving work.

Pasteur won the Leeuwenhoek medal
Leeuwenhoek Medal
The Leeuwenhoek Medal, established in 1877 by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, , in honor of the 17th- and 18th-century microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, is granted every ten years to the scientist judged to have made the most significant contribution to microbiology during...

, microbiology
Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are defined as any microscopic organism that comprises either a single cell , cell clusters or no cell at all . This includes eukaryotes, such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes...

's highest Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 honor in Arts and Sciences, in 1895. He was a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor–one of only 75 in all of France. Both Institute Pasteur and Université Louis Pasteur were named after him.

On June 8 1886 the ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Abdul Hamid II
His Imperial Majesty, The Sultan Abdülhamid II, Emperor of the Ottomans, Caliph of the Faithful was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire...

 awarded Pasteur with the Order of the Medjidie (I. Class) and 10000 ottoman Liras.

In many localities worldwide, there are streets named in his honor. For example, in the USA: the Medical school at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, Palo Alto
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

 and Irvine, California
Irvine, California
Irvine is a suburban incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the city has a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census. However, the California...

, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and Polk, Florida, adjacent to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Jonquière, Québec; San Salvador de Jujuy and Buenos Aires (Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

), Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth, often known to locals as Yarmouth, is a coastal town in Norfolk, England. It is at the mouth of the River Yare, east of Norwich.It has been a seaside resort since 1760, and is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the sea...

 in Norfolk, in the United Kingdom, Jericho and Wulguru in Queensland, (Australia); Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

 in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

; Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam...

 in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

; Batna in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

; Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

 in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, adjacent to the Odessa State Medical University in Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

; Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 in Italy and Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

 and Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

 in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. A large university hospital is named after him in Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

.

In his honor, there is a statue for him located on the campus of San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California.
Also there is a Pasteur institute in Ootacamund, a hill station in south India, which is involved in vaccine trials and also rabies diagnosis.

Statements


In his triumphal lecture at the Sorbonne in 1864, Pasteur said "Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment" (referring to his swan-neck flask experiment wherein he proved that fermenting micro-organisms would not form in a flask containing fermentable juice until an entry path was created for them).

Legacy

  • Avenue Louis Pasteur in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area
    Longwood Medical and Academic Area
    The Longwood Medical and Academic Area is a medical campus in Boston....

     in Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

     is named in his honor in the French manner with "Avenue" preceding the name of the dedicatee.
  • The Lycée Pasteur
    Lycée Pasteur
    The Lycée Pasteur is a French state-run secondary school in Neuilly-sur-Seine, on the outskirts of Paris. It accept students from collège through to classes préparatoires .Built in the grounds of the former chateau de Neuilly, the lycée is named in...

     in Neuilly-sur-Seine
    Neuilly-sur-Seine
    Neuilly-sur-Seine is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.Although Neuilly is technically a suburb of Paris, it is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential...

     is named after him.
  • The Avenue Pasteur in Saigon, Vietnam, is one of the few streets in that city to retain its French name.

See also

  • Pasteurization
    Pasteurization
    Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food...

  • Infection control
    Infection control
    Infection control is the discipline concerned with preventing nosocomial or healthcare-associated infection, a practical sub-discipline of epidemiology. It is an essential, though often under-recognized and under-supported, part of the infrastructure of health care...

  • Infectious disease
    Infectious disease
    Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases, contagious diseases or transmissible diseases comprise clinically evident illness resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism...

  • Modern medicine
  • Pasteur Institute
    Pasteur Institute
    The Pasteur Institute is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, who made some of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine at the time, including pasteurization and vaccines for anthrax...

  • The Story of Louis Pasteur
    The Story of Louis Pasteur
    The Story of Louis Pasteur is a 1936 American biographical film. It starred Paul Muni as the renowned scientist. It was written by Toni Pollastre and Sheridan Gibney, and Edward Chodorov , and directed by William Dieterle....

    (a 1936 biographical film).

External links




The complete work of Pasteur, BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France)