Louis Pasteur, French chemist

Louis Pasteur, French chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), French chemist and microbiologist. Pasteur found that fermentation is caused by microorganisms, and also proposed the germ theory of disease. He developed a vaccine against rabies, which led to the founding of the Pasteur Institute in 1888. He saved the French silkworm industry by identifying diseases that were decimating the worms. He discovered the anthrax bacterium and developed a vaccine against it. He also discovered that gentle heating of wine and beer preserves them from souring: the process of pasteurisation which is now widely used in the food industry. This portrait dates from 1865.

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