History of Microbiology

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Can you figure out the next symbol in this series?

History of Microbiology: 

History of Microbiology

First Epidemics: 

First Epidemics Possibly Waterborne Infected Caveman Contaminating Water Supply No Understanding of Why Disease Occurred

Growth of Epidemics: 

Growth of Epidemics Isolated Groups / Sporadic Disease Episodes Civilization Progressed / People Clustered in Cities Shared Communal Water, Handled Unwashed Food, Stepped in Excrement from Casual Discharge Crowding Increased / Bred Waterborne, Insect Borne, and Skin-to-Skin Infectious Diseases Still No General Understanding of Why Disease Occurs


Trepanation Trepanation is the oldest surgical procedure practiced by mankind. It is the act of cutting of hole in one's skull to allow your brain better access to blood flow and to 'awaken ancient parts of the brain'.


According to John Verano, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University, trepanation is the oldest surgical practice and is still performed ceremonially by some African tribes. A trepanned skull found in France was dated at about 5,000 BC. About 1,000 trepanned skulls from Peru and Bolivia date from 500 B.C. to the 16th century.


Ancient Woodcutting Showing Trepanation in Elizabethan Times


Aztec trephining knife made of bronze and gold (1200-1400 AC) Various Methods Exist Scrape Cut Hammer and Chisel Drill

Trepanation is Practiced Today The “Third Eye”: 

Trepanation is Practiced Today The “Third Eye” Feeling depressed? Lethargic? Shell-shocked by life's little bombardments? You could try meditation. Or yoga. Or color therapy. Or herbal remedies. Or, if you prefer drastic measures, you could drill a hole in your head. http://www.free.de/homes/joern/luck_hole.html


Bart H. a medical school graduate who has never practiced medicine except for a bit of self-surgery, believes that trepanation is the way to higher consciousness. He wanted to be a psychiatrist but failed the obstetrics exam and so never went into practice. In 1965, after years of experimentation with LSD, cannabis and other drugs, Dr. H. realized that the way to enlightenment was by boring a hole in his skull. He used an electric drill, a scalpel, and a hypodermic needle (to administer a local anesthetic). The operation took him 45 minutes. How does it feel to be enlightened? "I feel like I did when I was 4," says H.


This weekend I had a hole drilled through my skull. I read that this increased one’s consciousness permanently. I read about the supposed de-conditioning properties. I read about more parts of the brain working simultaneously as there would be more blood up there to help this happen. The arguments for it all seemed to be quite lengthy, quite detailed, thought out and researched, and very intelligent. The arguments against it were based solely on the opinion that it is ‘crazy’ and talk like, "What’s more conscious than conscious?". I heard from an acquaintance on telephone that she was glad she had done it, felt more mental energy, and had days of brilliance. I came to believe that the key to a permanent consciousness increase was a hole in the skull, to restore the full brain pulsation of infancy. After several months of research, discussion, speculation, watching surgical videos and trepanation documentaries, and even an actual viewing of a trepanation, I decided I certainly did want to be trepanned, and sought a way to do it.


I do think trepanation causes lasting and permanent pleasurable effects, but I don't think they are caused by more blood being in your brain. I think it definitely does increase the brain blood volume, but I don't think that causes the pleasurable mental side effects. I think that by undergoing an intense physical process, while focusing extremely intently on your sensory impressions, that you can become quite aware of every sensation and every stimulus that you usually would miss or overlook. There is an intense joy and renewed vigor that comes just from living through it. Time and again you hear how those that live through a near-death experience are re-awakened to the ability to appreciate life again, like a child. You are happy that you are still alive at all, and along with that the days are cherished and exciting again. You get to keep living them!

Proper sanitation is an important factor in order to address the problems of health and disease.: 

Proper sanitation is an important factor in order to address the problems of health and disease.

Sanitation and Disease: 

Sanitation and Disease From archeology we learn that various ancient civilizations began to develop rudimentary plumbing. Toilets and Sewers Public Toilets and Baths Toilet Paper Piped Water Supplies


Ancient Greeks Carried Waste From Their Homes in Pots and Used It to Fertilize Fields

Human Wastes Used for Crop Fertilizer. What About Today?: 

Human Wastes Used for Crop Fertilizer. What About Today?

Sewage Sludge: 

Sewage Sludge Definition: 1. Anything Flushed, Poured, or Dumped Includes 1. Wastes from homes to chemical industries to chemical factories. Contains 1. Heavy Metals 2. Industrial Compounds 3. Viruses 4. Bacteria 5. Drug Residues


Effects? Hundreds of people have fallen ill after being exposed to sewage sludge fertilizer--suffering such symptoms as respiratory distress, headaches, nausea, rashes, reproductive complications, cysts, and tumors.

What About the EPA?: 

What About the EPA? The EPA monitors only nine of the thousands of pathogens commonly found in sludge; the agency rarely performs site inspections of sewage treatment plants; and it almost never inspects the farms that use sludge fertilizer.


CDC? Regulations governing the use and disposal of sewage sludge have been criticized by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Research Council, as well as numerous medical professionals, engineers, and activists. The Center for Food Safety seeks to end the use of sewage sludge as an agricultural fertilizer--first through an immediate moratorium on its application to croplands.


Roman Sanitation advanced to public toilets where they sat next to each other on a stone bench. They used and shared a sponge on a stick stuck in a bottle of salt water, because they didn't have toilet  paper.


The walls of the toilet were painted with pictures of Roman gods. The gods of smell, Stercutius and Crepitus and the goddess of the sewers, Cloacina. The sewage from public toilets was emptied into gutters in the street, or buried in pits. Motivated by concerns of esthetics, comfort, and convenience. They wanted a pleasant existence, but there is little evidence that they understood the connection between sanitation and disease control.

Roman Public Baths: 

Roman Public Baths Occupied 100’s and 1000’s of bathers at a time. But without filtration or circulation systems, the bathers basked in germ-ridden water and the huge pools had to be emptied and refilled daily.

What About Today? Is Lack of Proper Sanitation Still A Problem?: 

What About Today? Is Lack of Proper Sanitation Still A Problem?

Human Waste Overwhelms India's War on Disease : 

Human Waste Overwhelms India's War on Disease By Kenneth J. Cooper Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, February 17, 1997; Page A27 About half the world's reported cases of polio, a crippling disease virtually wiped out in Western countries, occur in India. Each year, diarrhea kills 500,000 Indian children. A jaundice epidemic strikes a small district of India's Rajasthan state as regularly as the annual monsoon.


Those deadly diseases and others that afflict India can be traced to the same source: drinking water contaminated by human waste. Infected water causes an estimated 80 percent of disease in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), making poor sanitation and inadequate sewage disposal the nation's biggest public health problems. http://www.swopnet.com/engr/sanitation/India_sewer html


The World Health Organization says that every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world. Most of the victims are young children, the vast majority of whom die of illnesses caused by organisms that thrive in water sources contaminated by raw sewage. The World Health Organization says that every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world. Most of the victims are young children, the vast majority of whom die of illnesses caused by organisms that thrive in water sources contaminated by raw sewage. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-03/2005-03-17-voa34.cfm

The Fall of the Roman Empire: 

The Fall of the Roman Empire Lead Water Piles Lead Cooking Utensils Lead Goblets for Drinking Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions Disease Epidemics “This led to the Dark Ages. One Thousand Years of Sicknesses and Plagues of Unbridled Virulence, Fanned by Fleas and Mosquitoes, Excrement and Filth, Stagnant and Contaminated Water of Every Description” Historic Text

The Dark Ages: 

The Dark Ages Water was Precious Mass Epidemics Diseases Were Widely Recognized as being Communicable The Diseased were therefore Isolated

Shunning of Lepers: 

Shunning of Lepers


 The Black Death: "Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. However, the disease remained, and soon death was every where. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial." Author Unknown Hythe Ossuary: remains of Black Death victims 


Anne Dacre, Countess of Arundel (1557-1638) was a noted lay medical practitioner and herbalist whose recipes are found in many seventeenth century compilations. This recipe for a pomander that would protect against the plague comes from her own collection of recipes, held in the Main Manuscript series. Reference: MS.213


Quarantine (from the Italian quarentina, meaning forty days for the time of isolation of ships entering harbor which were suspected of carrying some form of contagion) is only somewhat effective at the outset of an outbreak. In the fourteenth century, Milan, Florence, and Venice employed quarantines with a vengeance. The homes of sufferers were sealed—well and sick left to die for lack of food and water. Of course, the human residents of such dwellings were constrained, while the rats could come and go as they pleased. Even rats aboard docked quarantined ships had easy egress, because they could climb down the mooring ropes and onto the docks. Yellow Quarantine Flag Flown From Ships

Top Killers: 

Top Killers 1900s (Infectious Diseases) - Flu and Pneumonia - Tuberculosis - Gastric Infections (Diarrhea) 2000s (????) - Heart Disease - Cancer - Stroke


2004-2005 15,000,000 Children Die Each Year from Infectious Diseases that are Preventable with Basic Sanitation, Nutrition, Immunization, and Simple Medical Treatments.


Viewing Microbes Food Spoilage Mold and Bacterial Colonies were observed, but the organisms that caused the disease were still invisible.

Hans and Zacharias Jansen: 

Hans and Zacharias Jansen

Robert Hooke: 

Robert Hooke


In 1665, a physicist named Robert Hooke used one of the first microscopes to look more closely at the living world. A slice of cork caught his eye. Looking at thousands of tiny chambers, Hooke termed these structures cells because they reminded him of the rooms in a monastery.

Cell Theory: 

Cell Theory All living things are composed of cells. The cell is the basic functional unit of all living organisms. Cells come from preexisting cells. Theodore Schwann Mattias Schleiden Rudolf Virchow

Servetus : 





Aristotle Plato Hippocrates Religious Leaders / Pope Change Came Slowly Because the Public Assumed That The People They Admired Were Experts


The origins of the Royal Society lie in a group of men who began meeting in secret around 1645 to discuss the new philosophy of science. The common theme among the scientists who began the Society was acquiring knowledge by experimental investigation rather than by divine announcement. The first group of such men included Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, John Wallis, John Evelyn, Thomas Willis, Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren and William Petty. The Invisible College


The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, and has been at the forefront of enquiry and discovery since its foundation in 1660. There are currently more than 65 Nobel Laureates amongst the Society’s approximately 1300 Fellows and Foreign Members. Throughout its history, the Society has promoted excellence in science through its Fellowship, which has included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, Francis Crick, James Watson and Stephen Hawking.

The Royal Society: 

The Royal Society The coat-of-arms of the Royal Society as a stained-glass window. The motto is 'Nullius in verba'. The Society is independent of government, as it has been throughout its existence, by virtue of its Royal Charters. In 1663, ‘The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge’ was granted its Arms and adopted the motto Nullius in verba, an expression of its enduring commitment to empirical evidence as the basis of knowledge about the natural world.

Anton Van Leeuwenhoek: 

Anton Van Leeuwenhoek


Microscope Specimen


Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) . . . my work, which I've done for a long time, was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more than in most other men. And therewithal, whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof. Antony van Leeuwenhoek. Letter of June 12, 1716

Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe: 

Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe

Ernst Ruska: 

Ernst Ruska

Growth of Hospitals: 

Growth of Hospitals Originally Used by the Poor. Later became Centers of Physician Training.

Ignaz Semmelweis: 

Ignaz Semmelweis Vienna Maternity Ward Puerperal Sepsis

Two Major Questions Existed: 

Two Major Questions Existed Does Spontaneous Generation Occur? What is the Nature of Contagious Disease?

Spontaneous Generation: 

Spontaneous Generation The idea that life routinely arises from non-life was supported by Aristotle.

J.B. Van Helment / Favored SG: 

J.B. Van Helment / Favored SG Published a recipe for making “mice” at home.

John Needham / Favored SG: 

John Needham / Favored SG Boiled a “broth” or “soup” which should kill any microbes. Left it sitting out. It spoiled.

Lazzaro Spallanzani: 

Lazzaro Spallanzani Boiled “broth” in glass containers and melted the glass closed. Nothing Grew Technique was Criticized

Francesco Redi / Opposed SG: 

Francesco Redi / Opposed SG Redi's Problem Where do maggots come from? Do they form by Spontaneous Generation Hypothesis: Maggots come from flies. Redi put meat into three separate jars. Jar 1 was left open Jar 2 was covered with netting Jar 3 was sealed from the outside


Jar-1 Left open Maggots developed Flies were observed laying eggs on the meat in the open jar Jar-2 Covered with netting Maggots appeared on the netting Flies were observed laying eggs on the netting Jar-3 Sealed No maggots developed

Louis Pasteur / Opposed SG: 

Louis Pasteur / Opposed SG Pasteur's Problem Where do the microbes come from to cause broth to decay. Hypothesis: Microbes come from cells of organisms on dust particles in the air; not the air itself. Pasteur put broth into several special S-shaped flasks Each flask was boiled and placed at various locations

Louis Pasteur is Credited with Disproving the Idea of Spontaneous Generation One Question Had Been Answered!: 

Louis Pasteur is Credited with Disproving the Idea of Spontaneous Generation One Question Had Been Answered!

Pasteur’s Other Contributions: 

Pasteur’s Other Contributions Assisted Napoleon III in 1857 Developed Process of Pasteurization Founded Modern Immunology Worked with Chicken Cholera Produced Vaccines for Animals Indirectly Discovered Endospores

Ferdinand Cohn: 

Ferdinand Cohn Credited with Discovering Endospores German botanist Father of Bacteriology

Joseph Lister: 

Joseph Lister Developed Antiseptic Surgery Sterilized with Heat Swabbed with Carbonic Acid Reduced Post Surgical Infections


Lister with his staff at King's College Hospital

Although the microscope was invented in the 1600’s, it took 200 years for scientists to discover its use in isolating and identifying specific microbes for a particular disease.: 

Although the microscope was invented in the 1600’s, it took 200 years for scientists to discover its use in isolating and identifying specific microbes for a particular disease.

Robert Koch Credited with demonstrating the first direct link between a single microbe and a single disease – Tuberculosis. : 

Robert Koch Credited with demonstrating the first direct link between a single microbe and a single disease – Tuberculosis. 1 in 7 People Died from TB

Koch’s Postulates: 

Koch’s Postulates The organisms should be present in diseased individuals but not in healthy individuals The organisms must be cultured away from the plant or animal body Such a culture, when inoculated into susceptible animals, should initiate the characteristic disease symptoms The organisms should be re-isolated from these experimental animals and cultured again in the laboratory, after which it should still be the same as the original organism.

Germ Theory of Disease: 

Germ Theory of Disease Germs are the cause of disease and the reason for the contagious factor. The Second Question Had Been Answered!

Angelina Hesse: 

Angelina Hesse Development of Agar Used to Grow Microorganisms.

Edward Jenner: 

Edward Jenner





Jenner Performs the First Vaccination: 

Jenner Performs the First Vaccination

Benjamin Franklin: 

Benjamin Franklin

Paul Ehrlich: 

Paul Ehrlich Worked in Koch’s Lab doing Differential Staining Speculated at a Chemical Might Selectively Target Specific Cells and Kill Them. Developed the Discipline of Chemotherapy.

Alexander Fleming: 

Alexander Fleming Discovered Lysozyme Noted that Mold Might Kill Bacteria

Ernst Chain: 

Ernst Chain Developed Penicillin.


Early penicillin culture facility at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford, England.

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