So you’ve covered Louis Pasteur, right? Well, he’s not all there was when it comes to proving Germ Theory… Robert Koch played a major part in it as well, and you need to know all about him. Ready? Here we go…
Born in 1843, Robert Koch was a German scientist who took a great interest in Pasteur’s Germ Theory, and from 1875-78 he was methodically studying anthrax, a disease which can affect both humans and animals. He had a meticulous research method, and he was determined to prove Germ Theory – specifically, finding the specific germs that caused specific diseases, such as the anthrax disease.
He painstakingly repeated his experiments – he isolated the bacterium said to cause anthrax, injected it into mice to see if they developed anthrax, and repeated this process through 20 generations of mice. Eventually, he had proved that the single bacterium he had isolated did cause anthrax.
This method was then used by many others to identify the causes of diseases such as typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, tetanus, and so on. However, creating an effective method of finding the bacteria that cause disease was only the first thing he did – he also created a solid culture medium to grow bacteria on so he could see them easily, and a better method of growing bacteria.
Finally, Koch created a method of staining bacteria so they could be more easily seen – helping many people to discover more causes of disease. Eventually, however, it was Koch’s success that drove Pasteur to begin finding cures for diseases, because of the rivalry between Germany and France at the time – a result of the Franco-Prussian War (War is a factor worth mentioning as an influence in discoveries here)
And that’s about it for Robert Koch! If you have any questions, post a comment. Hope this helped!