bacteriology

Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

Robert Koch and his Fight against Tuberculosis

On December 11, 1843, Robert Koch, the founder of modern bacteriology, was born. He is known for his role in identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax and for giving experimental support for the concept of infectious disease. As a result of his groundbreaking research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905. “When the doctor walks behind the coffin of his patient, sometimes…
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Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

On September 21, 1866, French bacteriologist Charles Juley Henry Nicolle was born. Nicolle was awarded the 1928 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Family and Education Charles Nicolle was the second of three sons of the French doctor Eugène Nicolle to be born in the northern French town of Rouen. His mother was the daughter of a local watchmaker. Nicolle attended the Lycée Pierre Corneille in…
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Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

Félix d’Herelle and the Bacteriophages

On April 25, 1873, French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Herelle was born. D’Herelle was co-discoverer of bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) and experimented with the possibility of phage therapy. D’Herelle has also been credited for his contributions to the larger concept of applied microbiology. Early Years as Autodidact Félix D’Hérelle was born in Paris, France. He attended l’Ecole Monge (Lycée Condorcet) and then the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. His father, who was 30 years…
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Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

On March 20, 1955, English bacteriologist Frederick William Twort passed away. Twort was the original discoverer in 1915 of bacteriophages, i.e. viruses that infect bacteria. He researched into Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal infection of cattle, and also discovered that vitamin K is needed by growing leprosy bacteria. Early Years Frederick William Twort was born in Camberley, Surrey, the eldest of the eleven children of Dr. William Henry Twort. He initially only received a limited…
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Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

Sir Waldemar Haffkine – A Saviour of Humanity

On March 15 1860, Russian bacteriologist Sir Waldemar Mordechai Wolff Haffkine was born. Haffkine is best known for an anti-cholera vaccine that he tried out successfully in India. He is recognized as the first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague. He tested the vaccines on himself. Lord Joseph Lister named him “a saviour of humanity”.[4] Early Years Born as Vladimir Aaronovich Khavkin, Waldemar Haffkine was born into a family of Jewish teachers living…
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René Dubos and the Discovery of Antibiotics

René Dubos and the Discovery of Antibiotics

On February 20, 1901, French-born American microbiologist, experimental pathologist, environmentalist, humanist, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize René Jules Dubos was born. Dubos is credited for having made famous Jacques Ellul‘s environmental maxim, “Think globally, act locally” (penser global, agir local). In Research, he is best known for his pioneer work in isolating antibacterial substances from certain soil microorganisms and the discovery of major antibiotic. Becoming a Microbiologist Dubos was born in…
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Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

On February 6, 1834, Swiss-German pathologist Theodor Albrecht Edwin Klebs was born. Klebs is mainly known for his work on infectious diseases. His works paved the way for the beginning of modern bacteriology, and inspired Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. He was the first to identify a bacterium that causes diphtheria, which was called Klebs–Loeffler bacterium. Medical Studies in Königsberg and Würzburg Edwin Klebs was born in Königsberg, Province of Prussia. Ignoring…
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Julius Richard Petri and the Petri Dish

Julius Richard Petri and the Petri Dish

On May 31, 1852, German microbiologist Julius Richard Petri was born. Petri is generally credited with inventing the device known as the Petri dish after him, while working as assistant to bacteriologist Robert Koch. Julius Richard Petri studied medicine at the Kaiser Wilhelm Academy for Military Physicians from 1871-1875 and worked for a short time as a military doctor. He completed his doctorate as a physician at the Charité in Berlin, which he obtained in…
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Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

On September 13, 1853, Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram was born. Gram is best known for his development of the Gram stain, which differentiates bacteria by the chemical and physical properties of their cell walls by detecting peptidoglycan, which is present in a thick layer in gram-positive bacteria. Education Hans Christian Gram was the son of Frederik Terkel Julius Gram, a professor of jurisprudence, and Louise Christiane Roulund. In 1871, Gram studied botany at the University of…
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Carl Woese and the Evolution of the Cell Organization

Carl Woese and the Evolution of the Cell Organization

On July 15, 1928, American microbiologist and biophysicist Carl Richard Woese was born. Woese is famous for recognizing the existence of the Archaea – a new domain or kingdom of life – in 1977 by phylogenetic taxonomy of 16S ribosomal RNA, a technique pioneered by Woese which revolutionized the discipline of microbiology. Archaea define a third domain of life, distinct from the previously recognized two domains of bacteria, and life other than…
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