The Pasteur-Chamberland Filter
Written by The British Medical Journal   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 10:16

Originally published in The British Medical Journal on March 6, 1886.

The Pasteur-Chamberland FilterSir, --In the Journal of February 27th, appeared a short article giving an account of the results obtained by Horn, working under the direction of Professor FOrster, of Amsterdam, with the Pasteur-Chamberland filter. As the reader might gather from the concluding lines of your article, that some difficulties attend the use of this filter, I venture to correct a possible misconception. This admirable invention appears to me to realize pratically the ideal of a filter, for it removes all living forms and their germs, without affecting the chemical composition of the water. Having employed one of these filters in my house during the last three months, I have become convinced that they have only to be known in order to replace all other filters.

As was mentioned in your article, the water to be filtered is forced under pressure through a tube of unglazed porcelain, and in this process is so freed from organic germs that, as was first found by M. Pasteur, and confirmed by Dr. Percy Frankland, and by Horn, it is perfectly sterilized. In order to demonstrate the fact, the porcelain tube must, of necessity, be first sterilized by the action of heat, so as to destroy the germs accidentally adhering to the inside of the filter; and this is a procedure which can only be practiced by skilled persons provided with suitable appliances. Where pure water is needed for domestic purposes, however, this preliminary sterilization by heat is altogether unnecessary, for the object is to remove all germs which may accidentally have become mixed with it from the water which passes through; and this will be effected as perfectly by an unsterilized tube as by one which has been sterilized.

Louis Pasteur Experiment: Grow Your Own Bacteria
Written by Pasteur Brewing   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 08:39

Louis Pasteur: Germs ExperimentThis is a great experiment for kids to learn about one of Louis Pasteur's greatest discoveries.

Louis Pasteur was famous for discovering that bacteria and germs are "almost everywhere" in the environment. Pasteur showed that germs hang on dust particles in the air, attach themselves to surfaces during experiments and expose themselves on medical instruments during surgery. One way to highlight Pasteur's discovery is with an experiment of your own! You will take a sample from any surface in the environment and cultivate the bacteria you sample in a petri dish. You will not need a microscope for this experiment. The sample will eventually grown, with the help of the agar nutrient, into a culture visible to the naked eye!

Louis Pasteur and the Germ Theory
Written by John L. Wilson   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 11:47
Used with permission by the Stanford Medical History Center.

The Germ Theory

Louis PasteurIn 1854 Pasteur, then 32 years of age, was appointed Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the newly organized Faculté des Sciences in the city of Lille, the richest center of industrial activity in the north of France. When extolling the marvelous discoveries of modern science in his opening speech to the students on 7 December, the young Dean reminded them that "chance only favours the mind which is prepared." [135] These words, that have echoed ever since through the halls of academe, are a key to Pasteur's own achievements. His experiments were always carefully planned and decisive, but it was his genius to make serendipitous observations of historic significance while solving practical problems - such as the problem brought to him by a certain Monsieur Bigo, the father of one of his students.

In the summer of 1856 M. Bigo came to consult Pasteur concerning the difficulty he was having with the alcoholic fermentation of beet sugar in his distillery. Something was going wrong with the process and the alcohol was turning sour. Pasteur was at first hesitant to undertake a project outside his school. Fortunately for posterity he decided to go to Mr. Bigo's distillery and have a look at his vats. He found that, part of the time and for no apparent reason, the alcoholic fermentation process for which yeast was the ferment began to produce lactic acid, an acid usually obtained from sour milk. Pasteur decided that there were in fact two kinds of fermentation, each independent of the other, going on in M. Bigo's vats: alcoholic fermentation due to yeast and lactic acid fermentation due to the lactic acid bacillus. When the alcoholic fermentation turned sour it was due to the production of lactic acid by a contaminant, the lactic acid bacillus. Pasteur discovered and isolated the bacillus, and believed that the air was the source of the contamination.

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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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