Thursday, July 29, 2010


Short History

History is the story of the achievements of men and women, but it records relatively few outstanding names and events. Many important contributions were made by people whose names have been forgotten and whose accomplishments have been lost in the longer and deeper shadows cast by those who caught the fancy of the chroniclers. It has been said that in science the credit goes to the one who convinces the world, not to the one who first had the idea. So, in the development of microbiology, the outstanding names are often of those who convinced the world- who developed a technique, a tool, or a concept that was generally adopted, or who explain their finding so clearly or dramatically that the science grew and prospered.
The lucid report of Antony van Leeuwenhoek on the ubiquity of microbes enabled Louis Pasteur 200 years later to discover the involvement of these creatures in fermentation reactions and allowed Robert Koch. Theobald Smith, Pasteur and Many others to discover the association of microbes with disease. Koch is remembered for his isolation of the bacteria that cause anthrax and tuberculosis and for the rigid criteria he demanded before a specific bacterium be held as the cause of disease. His important contributions to the creation of the science of microbiology won him the 1905 Nobel prize.The building of Panama Canal dramatized Walter Reed's studies in the epidemiology of yellow fever. Theobald Smith work on transmission of Texas fever pointed the way for Walter Reed's subsequent work.

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