Louis Pasteur was born December 271822 in Dole, France. When he was five, his family moved to Arbois, France. He attended college in Paris and received a Doctor of Science degree in 1847. He began teaching chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met his wife, Marie Laurent, who shared Pasteur’s interest in science. Marie and Pasteur married in 1849 and had five children, two of which survived to adulthood. Pasteur eventually went on to instruct chemistry and became dean of the school of science at the University of Lille.
While Pasteur was at Lille, a local distiller sought help controlling the fermentation of beet sugar. Pasteur realized that fermentation was not a simple chemical process but that living organisms were involved. This led him to discover that fermentation, infection, and spoiling were the result of microbes. The first paper he published discussed lactic acid and it’s role in souring milk. He spent numerous years studying microbes and proving that they do not originate from within matter, but that they come in from the outside. He eventually used this research to develop pasteurization, a process in which the application of heat kills infectious microbes that get in food and make it unsafe for consumption. As Pasteur learned how dangerous germs could be to patients, he began to urge doctors to wash their hand and sterilize all medical instruments and supplies.
In 1865, he helped the silk manufacturers in France, when their silk worms came down with an unknown disease. Through his research, Pasteur proved that the disease was coming from bacteria on the leaves eaten by the worms and that the worms passed the infection on to their eggs. Pasteur taught the breeders how to recognize the uninfected eggs and how to rid the leaves of the bacteria.
In 1877, Pasteur began looking for a cure for the disease anthrax, which attacks and kills cattle. He drew inspiration from his research on chicken cholera. He had been injecting the chickens with weak cultures of cholera and the chickens would become slightly sick and then recover. Pasteur...