Louis Pasteur: Greatest Achievements Essay

2374 Words 10 Pages
Re: Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur: Greatest Achievements
     Louis Pasteur was one of the most important scientists of our time. The foundation of our knowledge about health and disease comes from the discoveries of this one man. He made many discoveries and solutions for problems of the every day life that are still in effect today.
     Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822 in a little town called Dôle in the foothills of the Jura Mountains of eastern France. When he was five years old his family moved to Arbois where he grew up with his father, mother, and three sisters. While attending primary school Pasteur was only an average student. Some considered him to be slow because
…show more content…
When looking at them under the microscope he found that the crystals of the tartaric acid were identical while the crystals of the racemic acid were of two types, almost identical but not quite. One type was mirroring the other the way the

right hand mirrors the left hand (Cohn, par. 6-8).
     After discovering the different types of crystals, Pasteur then took a dissecting needle and separated the left and right crystals from each other under the microscope. He then showed that in solution one form rotated light to the left and the other to the right. This proved that organic molecules with the same chemical composition can exist in space in unique stereo specific forms. With this discovery Pasteur launched the new science of stereo chemistry. He proposed that asymmetrical molecules were indicative of living processes. Because of this we know today that proteins of higher animals are made up only of the amino acids that exist in the left-hand form. The mirror image right-hand amino acids are not used in human or animal cells. Just like our cells only burn the right-hand form of sugar, not the left-hand that can be made in a test tube (Cohn, par. 9-10).
     In 1856 Pasteur was approached with a problem by a Monsieur Bigo. Monsieur Bigo manufactured

Related Documents