How we discovered bacteria.

It might seem hard to comprehend but there was a time when we did not know about bacteria. Bacteria are good, bad and certainly a bit ugly but whilst they are necessary in some cases they can be deadly in others. It is why we have developed penicillin and antiseptics to fight back against harmful bacteria. Infections from bad bacteria can be deadly, especially those transmitted sexually so it’s good to know that an STI test London company is around such as those from who can check your sexual health for you. How did we come to find out about bacteria in the first place?

If you had offered the opinion that you believed that all forms of illness, decay and fermentation was caused by invisible micro-organisms living in us, on us and all around us you’d have found yourself being carted off for some quality time in the Stocks or, even worse, forcible invited to have a chat with the local priest about the deeply ungodly things you were suggesting. At the time, humans attributed everything to God and the main treatment, if you could afford it, was based on the Four Humours advanced by Hippocrates and the Renaissance.

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However, if you’d said it in the year 1676 you would have been immediately realised and apologised to as the news that Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek would have surely filtered through to the folks who ran the local village or market town. Well, probably not but it would have saved you as he was the first person to see bacteria via a microscope that he had made himself. He could just about make them out and straight away began writing letters of his discovery to the Royal Society of London, the leading establishment in the development and publication of new scientific discovery.

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Leeuwenhoek’s work was roundly dismissed and it was not until another one hundred years later that anyone bothered to follow up on his work. Perhaps the failure of modern medicine to anything about stopping the Great Plague might have had something to do with it. The next name is Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg. Microscopes had come on leaps and bounds by 1828 and on reviewing the Leeuwenhoek work he coined the name bacterium for the life forms he had observed. Further shaking up the world, Louis Pasteur showed in 1859 that fermentation was caused by bacteria or by its bi product fungi. He was the first to say that human illness was caused by germs or negative bacteria. The future of modern medicine had its first building block.

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