Major Discoveries : Germ theory of disease; Rabies vaccine; Technique of Pasteurisation
Writing by the Scientist : 1) Germ Theory and Its Applications to Medicine. 2) Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery (Great Minds Series).
In the olden days people bitten by mad dogs died a sure and horrible death due to rabies. In 1867, Louis Pasteur, one of the all-time greats of science and the man who gave the world the 'germ theory of disease' developed an inoculation to prevent rabies. He did not know if it would work. So he decided to infect himself with rabies and then try out the treatment on himself. But before he could do that, a tearful woman brought her 9-year-old son to him. The boy had been mauled and bitten by a mad dog two days earlier. Pasteur consulted physicians known to him. They told him nothing could be done for the boy. Then Pasteur, with the consent of the mother, decided to try out the inoculation he had developed. He began to give the boy injections of liquid obtained from the fragments of the brain of a mad dog. Each day Pasteur looked fearfully for signs of the onset of the dreaded disease. But the boy remained healthy. A month passed. Then another and another and finally, Pasteur knew that his inoculation had worked. The physicians who had predicted the boy's death were amazed. Rabies had been vanquished -for the first time in history! In 1888 the Pasteur Institute was established to treat cases of rabies and today it is one of the world's most famous centres of biological research.