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Portrait of English microbiologist Frederick Twort

Portrait of English microbiologist Frederick Twort

H420/0099

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Frederick Twort (1877-1950), English microbiologist and discoverer of bacteriophage viruses. A doctor's son, Twort qualified in medicine in 1900 and became Professor of Bacteriology at London University in 1919. In 1915, during an attempt to grow viruses in artificial media, he noticed that bacteria infecting his plates became transparent. The phenomenon was proved to be contagious and was the first demonstration of the existence of bacteria- infecting viruses. These were later called bacteriophages ("bacteria eaters") by the Canadian bacteriologist Felix d'Herelle, who discovered them independently.

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