Louis Pasteur Biography and Timeline

Written by Brendon Barnett   


Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist. Despite his modest upbringing, Louis Pasteur would eventually become France’s leading scientific mind and later be known as one of history’s most prolific geniuses. Pasteur’s greatest discoveries resulted in what he termed, “The Germ Theory of Disease” and led to breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of disease, methods of preservation and sanitary production of food. His work opened the door to further discoveries in Microbiology, Bacteriology and Chemistry in general.

Louis Pasteur's Childhood and Youth

Louis Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822 in the tranquil town Dôle, in the Jura region of France to the family of a poor tanner. Pasteur’s early education was not in life sciences, but rather he gained degrees in Letters and Mathematical Sciences. Pasteur was a novice artist and painted a series of pastel portraits, now collected under the title Pasteur: Dessins et pastels. As a young man Pasteur's father would share his experiences and opinions of the Napoleonic Wars. Later in life these shared memories would help Pasteur develop a great sense of pride and dedication to his homeland France.


Louis Pasteur, Wine Disease and Napoleon

Written by Brendon Barnett   

Louis Pasteur and Napoleon IIIFor some time during the 19th century, the French wine industry was burdened by different diseases that caused wine to become sour, bitter or flavorless. Knowledge of French wine diseases spread throughout Europe, greatly damaging the wine export sector in France. An English merchant said this just after the treaty agreement between France and Great Britain in 1863:

In the beginning we eagerly greeted the arrival of these wines, but we soon made the sad experience that this trade caused great losses and endless troubles because of the disease to which they are subject.*


The Question of Spontaneous Generation

Written by René Vallery-Radot   

From Louis Pasteur: His Life and Labours by René Vallery-Radot, 1885


'All dry bodies,' said Aristotle, 'which become damp, and all damp bodies which are dried, engender animal life.' Bees, according to Virgil, are produced from the corrupted entrails of a young bull. At the time of Louis XIV, we were hardly more advanced. A celebrated alchemist doctor, Van Helmont, wrote: 'The smells which rise from the bottom of morasses produce frogs, slugs, leeches, grasses, and other things.' But most extraordinary of all was the true recipe given by Van Helmont for producing a pot of mice. It suffices to press a dirty shirt into the orifice of a vessel containing a little corn. After about twenty-one days, the ferment proceeding from the dirty shirt modified by the odour of the corn effects the transmutation of the wheat into mice. Van Helmont, who asserted that he had witnessed the fact, added with assurance:

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News on Pasteur

Treat the crime epidemic like the disease it is

It was not until the late 19th century that the pioneering work of the likes of Louis Pasteur, and the development and improvement of microscopes, led to the discovery that disease is caused by microbes too small to be detected with the naked human eyes.

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Cal Lord: Bill Nye should rethink creationism stance

“There are only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility. Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others. That leaves us with the only possible conclusion that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible; spontaneous generation arising to evolution.”

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At Harlem Hospital, Murals Get a New Life

Mr. Alston also included the microbiologist Louis Pasteur and a surgeon modeled after Louis T. Wright, the first African-American physician appointed to the hospital and a friend of the artist.

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Challenge has changed the world of bread

..innovations in bread-making are rare. In fact, nothing much has changed in the 6,000-year-old process since Louis Pasteur made the commercial production of yeast possible in 1859.

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The 20 best inventions in food history

Frenchman Louis Pasteur’s name will live on as long as there is milk or beer. Drinking milk used to be like Russian roulette, you never knew when you get some random disease and die. Pasteur’s process of heating up and immediately cooling liquids made the world a safer (and tastier) place.

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Pasteur Biography

louis_pasteur_delivering_first_rabies_inoculation_on_joseph_meister_20090420_1148554081Louis Pasteur was a microbiologist and chemist from Dole, France. Learn more about his childhood, history at the university and his ground-breaking work that led to the development of modern medicine. We owe the creation of vaccinations, pasteurization and many more applications of science to Louis Pasteur.

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