Microbiology History Report

1644 Words7 Pages
1. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch microscopist who made the bulk of his contributions while working as a chamberlain in Delft. Though he lacked scientific training, he had a special passion for grinding lenses into simple microscopes and observing the natural world. The Encyclopedia Britannica lists a number of elements of the microscopic world that Leeuwenhoek was among the first to accurately describe, including spermatozoa, striations in muscle tissue, mouthparts of insects, fine structures in plants, and red blood cells. Arguably the most important contributions Leeuwenhoek made to the field of science were those that directly contested the long-standing theory of spontaneous generation. Using his own techniques, the details of which are a mystery to this very day, he was able to discover the truth behind the lifecycles of numerous creatures believed to spontaneously generate from organic material, such as fleas and granary weevils. 2. Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur was a French chemist who was born on December 27th, 1822. Most of his study was done in Paris, where he acquired a doctorate in science in 1847. Shortly after, he investigated recent discoveries in the field of chemistry, an endeavor that eventually led him to the discovery of molecular asymmetry, fathering the field of stereochemistry. This discovery earned him enough attention to be appointed as a chemistry professor at the University of Lille in Lille, France. While serving as a chemistry professor, Pasteur was approached with the problems of a local distillery, launching the scientist’s research into alcoholic fermentation. As he solved the various issues at the distillery, he gathered the evidence and knowledge that led him to... ... middle of paper ... ...kept the culture. When he returned to the culture to see what happened, he noticed that the bacteria had seemingly been destroyed. This eventually led him to the discovery of lysozyme, a naturally occurring enzyme in the mucous that can destroy certain types of bacteria. Fleming’s most famous discovery, however, is that of penicillin, and again, it occurred quite by accident. Echoing the discovery of lysozyme, the story of penicillin begins with a contaminated bacterial culture, this time with a mold. Again, Fleming allowed the culture to mature, and found that the growth of the bacteria had been severely inhibited by the presence of the mold, which was later identified as a member of Penicillium. Fleming and his team did not, however, manage to convert the antibiotic into a useful form, so they shared the 1945 Nobel prize with the researchers that did.
Open Document