Paster, Germ Theory and Hydrophobia
Written by Charles R. Gibson   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 09:46

Pasteur, Germ Theory and HydrophobiaThis article is an excerpt of Gibson's larger work, "The Wonders of Scientific Discovery."

It has been remarked in the preceding chapter that in the mind of the general public it is in connection with hydrophobia that the name of Pasteur is best known. The year before Pasteur's discovery there were sixty-seven deaths from hydrophobia in Great Britain alone. In France there were no less than three hundred deaths in one year, while the death-rate in Prussia and Austria was even more serious.

When a person was bitten by a mad dog, or more correctly a dog suffering from rabies, there was grave danger of hydrophobia setting in. The trouble did not appear immediately; the wound healed, and in about a month or sometimes longer there appeared very distressing symptoms. Not every person bitten by a mad dog died, but if hydrophobia did set in there was practically no chance of recovery. The writer of the article on Hydrophobia in Chambers's Encyelopaedia (1876) says: "Little need be said of the treatment of hydrophobia, for there is no well-authenticated case of recovery on record."

The malady showed itself in a feeling of unrest, and the patient's face became terror-stricken, giving suspicious side-long glances as though constantly looking for hidden dangers. Then followed a great difficulty in swallowing, especially any fluid; even the sight or sound of water brought on paroxysms. The spasms were not unlike those accompanying lock-jaw (tetanus); the patient became delirious and ultimately died of suffocation.

Hydrophobia: An Account of M. Pasteur's System (Chapter 1)
Written by Brendon Barnett   
Monday, 20 June 2011 09:11

Rabid Dog in CageSeven years ago, in 1880, rabies or hydrophobia had already been known, dreaded, and studied, in Europe, for more than 2,000 years. Countless authors had written upon it, beginning, so far we can ascertain, with Democritus in the fifth century B.C., down to and including many living men of mark. Yet all our knowledge of it could be summarised in a very few pages. The disease at first circumscribed, to all appearances, within a few limited geographical areas, had, with increasing facilities of intercommunication between nations, gradually spread to nearly every country of the globe, irrespective of latitude or longitude. 1 : raged, with varying intensity, at all seasons of the year, and often assumed the proportions of an epidemic. It. was occasionally met with in herbivorous animals : the ox, the horse, the sheep ; in swine and in birds more rarely ; commonest of all in the carnivora : the cat, the fox, the jackal, the wolf, and the dog. It always originated in the latter — in what manner, spontaneously or otherwise, was not and is not yet known — and spread from them by contact and direct inoculation, by a bite oftenest, to the herbivora and to man.
Bacteria in Relation to Plant Diseases
Written by Erwin F. Smith   
Friday, 03 June 2011 11:26

silkwormAn excerpt from Bacteria in Relation to Plant Diseases, published in 1905

Among the multitude of workers in animal pahtology and bacteriology during the last thirty-five years certain men tower far above the rest, their contributions to science having been more conspicuous and their imprint on their generation more lasting. If France is mentioned, we think at once of Pasteur, Davaine, Duclaux, Metchnikoff, Chamberland, Roux, Nocard, and Chauveau. In Germany we think of Virchow, Cohn, Cohnheim, Koch, Weigert, Nicolaier, Eberth, Gaffky, Hueppe, Flügge, Fraenkel, Pfeiffer, Behring, Ehrlich, and many others; in Japan, of Kitasato and Shiga; in the United States, of Welch, Sternberg, Theobald, Smith, Nuttall, Councilman, and a host of brilliant younger men, many of whom recieved their training under Welch in the Johns Hopkins Pathological Laboratory. England, from which one might have expected so much, has conttibuted comparitibely little, owing probably to the laws in force in that country respecting animal experimentation, laws framed with the intention of doing a kindness to the lower animals, but working, on account of their interference with the pathologist, a distinct detriment both to men and animals, the aim of all animal pathological inquiry being the alleviation of human and animal suffering. In passing we should not forget, however, the contributions of Tyndall and Lister, the one a physicist, the other a surgeon.

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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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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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