Louis Pasteur, French microbiologist

Louis Pasteur, French microbiologist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), French microbiologist and chemist. Pasteur found that fermentation is caused by micro-organisms, 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 discovered the anthrax bacterium and developed a vaccine against it. He also discovered chirality using polarized light. He saved the French silkworm industry by identifying diseases that were decimating the worms. He also discovered that gentle heating of wine and beer preserves them from souring: this is the process of pasteurisation which is now widely used in the food industry.

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