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Louis Pasteur was born on December 27 1822 in Dle a small town in France He grew in a humble family and his father was a tanner He graduated in 1840 from the College of Arts at Besancon and entered the prestigious Ecole Namale Supervieure Paris to work for his doctorate degree He chose for his studies the then obscure science of crystallography which was to have a great influence on his career Pasteur entered the scientific world as a professor of physics at the Lycee of Tournon and started his research on the optical properties of crystals of tartaric acid salts He found the two forms of this acid which could rotate the plane of polarization of light one to the right and the other to the left This was his first important discovery in crystallography the phenomenon of optical isomers Paradoxically it incited him to abandon the field But it won the acclaim of the French Academy and Britains Royal Society Thus Pasteur became famous at the age of 26 Pasteur soon began researching the complexities of bacteriology The prevalent theory of life at the time was spontaneous generation which states that certain forms of life such as flies worms and mice can develop from non-living matter such as mud and decaying fish Pasteur disproved this theory with a simple experiment He showed that microorganisms would grow in sterilized broth only if the broth was first exposed to air containing spores or reproductive cells His findings led to the development of the cell theory of the origin of living matter which states that all life originates from preexisting living material In 1849 Pasteur became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg where he began studying fermentation a type of chemical breakdown of substances by microbes He served the rest of his career as Dean of Sciences at the University of Lille Soon after his arrival at Lille Pasteur was
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