Profile of Louis Pasteur
The process of boiling liquids to kill microbes is called
Hi, I'm Christina Hartman for About.com and today we're profiling the French scientist Louis Pasteur.Louis Pasteur was born in France in 1822. After studying in Paris, he became a professor at the University of Strasbourg. He met his wife Marie in Strasbourg and they had five children -- three of whom died of typhoid before adulthood, spurring Pasteur to find cures for diseases.In the late 1850s and early 1860s, Pasteur proved the idea of germ theory -- that it was micro-organisms that caused fermentation and foods to spoil. It was previously thought these microbes spontaneously generated but by sealing off broths from the outside air, Pasteur demonstrated that there was something in the environment causing food to go bad. He also developed a way to delay spoilage by heating liquids like milk to kill off the microbes already in them -- the process bore his name: pasteurization.It was Pasteur's work with germ theory and spoilage that led him to think that micro-organisms may also be responsible for disease in humans and animals. After working with cholera in chickens, Pasteur discovered that the chickens could become immune to the disease if they were infected with a weakened or spoiled culture of cholera. He applied the idea to anthrax in cattle and discovered it worked as well. Pasteur first applied this idea in 1885 to a boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog. Pasteur injected the boy with a rabies vaccine he developed and the boy didn't develop rabies.Louis Pasteur died in 1895 but his work lives on today. In 1887, he founded the Institute Pasteur in Paris. The institute continues to work on research and discovery in biology, disease and vaccines. In 1983, it was the first to isolate the HIV virus that causes AIDS. It has made breakthrough discoveries in areas such as tuberculosis, yellow fever, plague and the flu. Eight scientists from the institute have won the Nobel Prize for medicine. And that's a look at the French scientist Louis Pasteur. For more information, check out About.com.