Today we celebrate another of the big names in science – Louis Pasteur (27 Dec 1822 – 28 Sep 1895), one of the founders of the field of microbiology.
The Frenchman Pasteur, a chemist by training, shifted his focus to microbiology when he started studying the role of bacteria in fermentation. His understanding of the process of fermentation led to fundamental insights into the role of germs in infection, and how the process can be manipulated. He figured out that bacteria can be killed by exposing them for a specific time at a given temperature – a process that became known as pasteurisation.
Pasteur made many contributions in the field of human health, creating and testing a range of vaccines for diphtheria, cholera, yellow fever, plague, rabies, anthrax, and tuberculosis.