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Chapter 4 : From Crystals to Fermentation

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From Crystals to Fermentation, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

In Strasbourg recognition for his studies in crystallography had come to Louis Pasteur in the form of honors and prizes. The author selects one of the many instances that dealt with a situation crucial to the whole argument—"fermentation is a phenomenon correlative of life." What Pasteur showed in this first study—as he did even more convincingly with other more complex fermentations—was that the lactic-acid ferment consists of an immense number of microscopic organized bodies, which all resemble one another. By applying the same experimental approach to other types of fermentation, Pasteur showed furthermore that the acidity, neutrality, or alkalinity of the fermenting solutions had very profound effects on the activity of the various kinds of ferments. In 1957 at the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Pasteur's short paper , many speakers from all over the world emphasized that much of our present knowledge of biochemistry has evolved from the point of view first enunciated by Pasteur with regard to lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation; others showed how this knowledge constitutes the basis of many important biological industries—in particular those concerned with the production of organic substances by microorganisms; still others focused attention upon the medical consequences of the event, the germ theory of disease, and the production of drugs (antibiotics) to combat infection.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. From Crystals to Fermentation, p 30-37. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch4

Key Concept Ranking

Lactic Acid Fermentation
0.86629695
Alcoholic Fermentation
0.62858826
Lactic Acid
0.451545
0.86629695
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Figures

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Figure 1

Pasteur's microscopic study of yeast convinced him that the alcoholic fermentation was a biological process, (a) Pasteur's drawings of yeast cells, illustrating the budding process. Observations of budding convinced Pasteur that yeast was alive, (b) The simple kind of microscope used by Pasteur during his studies on the alcoholic fermentation.

Citation: Dubos R. 1998. From Crystals to Fermentation, p 30-37. In Pasteur and Modern Science. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818265.ch4
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