New Way to Isolate Germs to Help Science Conquer Diseases that are Deadly

Originally published in The Evening Independent on July 23, 1931

Dr. Arthur Isaac Kendall
Dr. Arthur Isaac Kendall

Chicago, Ill., July 23.–(AP)–The discovery of a new method of isolating bacteria which hertofore have remained invisible, announced Dr. Arthur I. Kendall, professor of bacteriology at Northwetern University, was hailed today by his colleagues as an important victory in the fight of science against disease.

Some of Dr. Kendall’s associates described the discovery, revealed by Dr. Kendall in a lecture last night, as the most important victory in the isolation of bacteria since the discoveries of Louis Pasteur. They said it probably would open the way for a more thorough and exact knowledge of such diseases as influenza, rheumatism, infantile paralysis and sleeping sickness.

Although the scientist’s experiments have thus far been limited he postulated in the summary of his lecture, that a majority, if not all known bacteria, were subject to the new method of isolation.

Briefly, the discovery was described as the development of culture media which will change bacteria from invisible to visible form. The essential ingredient, he said, was a small intestine of man, swine, dog or rabbit, chemically treated. He is now preparing a second paper so that its manufacture and testing will be possible in other laboratories.

“We have just listened to the revelations of a great discovery. The future will show the greatness of his contribution to science.”

Dr. Irving S. Cutter, dean of the faculty of medicine at Northwestern said, “The discovery is as startling as those of Pasteur.”

Dr. Kendall is 54 years old, and has been a member of the staff of the Northwestern Medical School since 1910.

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