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The Importance Of Science And Technology In The Fight Against Infectious Diseases In The Late 19th Century

1406 words - 6 pages

The Importance of Science and Technology in the Fight Against Infectious Diseases in the Late 19th Century

Infectious disease had posed problems for many people for centuries.
The developed knowledge of anatomy and the working of the human body
led to more and more understanding of what caused illness and
diseases. Many scientists and doctors searched for cures and
treatments and from the 18th century onwards there were many
discoveries and developments that helped the battle in opposition to
infectious diseases. By the 19th century there were many breakthroughs
and much more changes and developments occurred in the search for the
cure of infectious disease.

Science and technology was a vital factor that aided the fight against
infectious diseases in the late 19th century. Through these two
sources, many new theories were established and developed. Science and
Technology had helped medicine a great deal as new and more powerful
microscopes had been introduced by 1830. Through the use of
microscopes, Anthony van Leeuwenhoek discovered tiny organisms but at
that time microscopes were not good enough for his idea to be pursued
further. However, the improvement in the quality of microscopes
enabled Pasteur to investigate Anthony van Leeuwenhoek’s findings in
more depth and with the use of advanced microscopes he discovered
micro-organisms. Pasteur was able to develop upon the spontaneous
generation and through the use of microscopes he was able to prove he
fact that living organisms fall from the air and cause decay. He
established this in 1861, which was recognised as the germ theory. The
acknowledgement of the germ theory became a major turning point in
helping to find preventions for infectious diseases and without the
use of highly developed microscopes; this would not have been
possible.

Pasteur did not prove the link between bacteria and disease. Robert
Koch believed in the germ theory and he took up the challenge of
applying Pasteur’s ideas to human diseases. With the help of science
Koch was able conduct a series of experiments, which proved that
specific micro-organisms cause specific human diseases. He grew
bacteria in his laboratory and identified the specific bacteria that
caused a range of diseases. Using this method Koch provided the causes
of tuberculosis, typhoid, tetanus and cholera to be recognized. This
also leads to enhancement in vaccinations such as anthrax. The new
chemical industries provided Koch with dyes, which he was able to use
to stain bacteria. This enabled him to observe it more easily for he
could see the bacteria. Therefore it allowed him to study the cause of
blood poisoning by going through the process of staining it purple so
it was visible to him; consequently it allowed him to examine it more
precisely.

Both Pasteur and Koch used...

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