By: Megan Means

What is Microbiology?

Microbiology is the branch of science that deals with microorganisms. Bacteria, portozoal parasites, viruses, and fungi are just a few examples of organisms that microbiologists study.

Picture: This is a microbiologist holding a sample of an organism. https://www.kln.ac.lk

Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Koch, and Louis Pasteur are some famous microbiologists.

A little bit about them...

Anton van Leeuwenhoek

A Dutch scientist from the 17th century, Anton van Leeuwenhoek was born into a family of tradesmen, was very poor, and received no higher education or degrees. Yet, with his skill and diligence, he is often referred to as the “Father of Microbiology.” When he was in his 20s, he learned to grind lenses, making simple microscopes, which could be used to make simple observations. Van Leeuwenhoek’s first microscope consisted of a small rod of soda lime glass and a powerful magnifying glass. He expanded his curiosity by observing almost anything. He put them under his lens, and since he was a poor drawer, he gave detailed descriptions to an illustrator, who drew pictures for him. He used these microscopes to help make the discovery of some single-celled animals, bacteria, and spermatozoa. Van Leeuwenhoek is best known for his work on the development and improvement of the microscope.




Robert Koch

Robert Heinrich Herman Koch, born on December 11, 1843, was a German biologist. As a child, he taught himself to read, which is a large contributing factor in his intelligence. He always had a very strong urge to travel. He is most known for identifying the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax. As a result of his highly intense research on tuberculosis, Koch received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1905. He is known as the founder of modern bacteriology.




Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822 in France. In 1865, Pasteur helped save the silk industry. He proved that microbes were attacking healthy silkworm eggs causing a disease, and that the disease would be eliminated if the microbes were eliminated. In 1879, Pasteur discovered a vaccine for a disease known as "chicken cholera." He did a lot of testing and finally found vaccinations for diseases such as anthrax, cholera, TB, and smallpox. He also found a vaccination for rabies, after he vaccinated a 9-year-old who had been bitten by a rabid dog.