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1 1 Highlights of History of Microbiology Fields of Study Lec 2 Aug 27, 2008 Office phone: 231- 9708 LS 1 Room 215 2 Ancient Roots of Microbiology • 400 BC Greeks (Hippocrates) – associated symptoms and signs with certain illnesses ¾ Recovered plague victims could help others without danger of getting the disease again • Roman scholar 1 BC proposed that tiny invisible animals entered the body through the mouth and nose to cause disease • Ancient Chinese knew that a person scarred by smallpox (caused by a virus) that survived would not get the disease again so they took lesions from recovering people and ground them into a powder which that inhaled – this gave a level of protection in most cases ¾ Early 1800’s - Edward Jenner used material derived from “cowpox lesions” caused by a virus related to the smallpox virus as a type of vaccine to protect people against small pox 3 Microscopy: the key that unlocked the door Robert Hooke (1635-1703) ¾ Crude microscope with little magnification ¾ Coined the use of the term “cell” for the divisions that he could see in thin slices of cork: Hooke was looking at the cell walls in his slice of tissue ¾ First to describe the fruiting structures of molds in 1665 – this are eukaryotic microorganisms Robert Hooke modification Used in his studies
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2 4 Microscopy: Major Lens Improvements Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) ¾ A Dutch cloth merchant who first made and used lenses of excellent quality – some distortion free up to 300X magnification ¾ 1676 : He used his microscopes to routinely view bacteria referring to them as “wee animalcules” ¾ His observations were published in a series of letters to the Royal Society of London (many survive today) • Giving him credit as the first person to observe and describe bacteria Early van Leeuwenhoek microscope 5 Ferdinand Cohn (1828-1898) ¾ German botanist who is credited with the founding of the discipline of bacteriology ¾ His belief that all small things such as bacteria were small plants so over time his scope of investigation drifted from algae to bacteria such as members of Cyanobacteria, sulfur bacteria, and Bacillus sp. ¾ Achieved many accomplishments in his lifetime During his study of the lifecycle of Bacillus sp., he observed and described the process of endospore formation: vegetative cells but not endospores are killed by boiling - a very important idea that heat could kill some forms of bacteria Laid down the ground work for an early method of bacterial classification
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