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Louis Pasteur was born on December 27 1822 in Dole in the region of Jura France His discovery that most infectious diseases are caused by germs known as the germ theory of disease is one of the most important in medical history His work became the foundation for the science of microbiology and a cornerstone of modern medicine Pasteurs phenomenal contributions to microbiology and medicine can be summarized as follows First he championed changes in hospital practices to minimize the spread of disease by microbes Second he discovered that weakened forms of a microbe could be used as an immunization against more virulent forms of the microbe Third Pasteur found that rabies was transmitted by agents so small they could not be seen under a microscope thus revealing the world of viruses As a result he developed techniques to vaccinate dogs against rabies and to treat humans bitten by rabid dogs And fourth Pasteur developed pasteurization a process by which harmful microbes in perishable food products are destroyed using heat without destroying the food His Works Each discovery in the body of Pasteurs work represents a link in an uninterrupted chain beginning with molecular asymmetry and ending with his rabies prophylaxis by way of his research in fermentation silkworm wine and beer diseases asepsis and vaccines From Crystallography to Molecular Asymmetry In 1847 at the age of 26 Pasteur did his first work on molecular asymmetry bringing together the principles of crystallography chemistry and optics He formulated a fundamental law asymmetry differentiates the organic world from the mineral world In other words asymmetric molecules are always the product of life forces His work became the basis of a new science -- stereochemistry
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