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(Dole, France, 1822-St.-Cloud, id., 1895) Chemist and bacteriologist French. Formed at the Lycée de Besançon and in the Normal high school of Paris, in which he had entered in 1843, Louis Pasteur received his doctorate in science by the latter in 1847.
The following year, his work in chemistry and crystallography allowed him to obtain spectacular results with regard to the problem of the hemiedria of the crystals of tartrates, which showed that this hemiedria is in direct relation with the sense of deviation which suffers polarized light passing through these solutions.
Professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg in 1847-1853, Louis Pasteur was Dean of the University of Lille in 1854; at this time he studied the problems of the irregularity of the alcoholic fermentation. In 1857 he served as director of scientific studies of the school of Paris, whose Laboratory conducted from 1867. Since its creation in 1888 and until his death he was director of the Institute that bears his name.
Pasteur contributions to science were numerous, and began with the discovery of the optical isomerism (1848) by the crystallization of the acid racemic, which obtained crystals in two different ways, in what is considered the work that gave birth to stereochemistry.
He also studied the processes of fermentation, both alcoholic and butterfat and lactic, and showed that they are due to the presence of microorganisms and that the Elimination of these voids the phenomenon (pasteurization). It showed the so-called effect Pasteur, according to which yeasts are able to reproduce in the absence of oxygen. It postulated the existence of germs and managed to prove it, with which refuted definitively the old theory of spontaneous generation.
Pasteur discovered the mechanisms of transmission of the cured, a disease that affects the silk worms and threatened to sink the French industry in 1865. He studied in depth the problem and was able to determine that the condition was directly related to the presence of a few corpuscles - already described by the Italian Cornaglia - appearing in the implementation by the contaminated females. As a result of their work, it enunciated the so-called germ theory of diseases, according to which these are due to the penetration into the human body of pathogenic microorganisms.
After 1870, Louis Pasteur oriented its activity to the study of infectious diseases, of which meant that they were microbial infectious germs that have managed to penetrate the body. In 1881 he started his studies about the anthrax of the sheep, and managed to prepare a disabled bacteria vaccine, the first ever.
The continuation of his research allowed him to develop the vaccine against rabies or Hydrophobia, whose virus fought a successful vaccine by successive inoculations in rabbits, which obtained less virulent extracts. The effectiveness of the vaccine, its last major contribution in the field of science, was tested successfully on July 6, 1885 with the child Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by a rabid dog, and thanks to the vaccine, did not develop rabies. This spectacular success had a great resonance, as well as practical consequences for the scientist, who until then had worked with rather precarious means.
Popular support made possible the construction of the Pasteur Institute, which would enjoy a justified international reputation thereafter. In 1882 he was elected member of the Académie française.