Francesco Redi was an Italian physician and poet also being the first person to argue and disprove the theory of spontaneous generation in 1668. He disproved the theory through the use of controlled experiments, showing that maggots could not be spontaneously generated from meat. Spontaneous generation, the theory that life forms can be generated from inanimate objects and their decay. Francesco took 6 jars, placed meat in all the jars, but covered 2 of the jars with muslin, 2 of the jars with mesh and left 2 jars open and exposed. Maggots developed in the open jars but did not develop in the covered jars (meat still decomposed) proving living organisms can not spontaneously generate from non-living or decomposing matter.
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
October 24, 1632 - August 26, 1723
Anton van Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch tradesman and scientist, known for his work on the development and improvement of the creation of the microscope and his contribution towards the study of microbiology. With the use of his own handcrafted microscopes, Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe and describe single celled organisms which he originally referred to as 'Animalcules'. Also, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was the first scientist to record and observe muscle fibres, Bacteria, the male sex cell and blood flow in capillaries. Helping to further development in science and prove science completed by Francesco Redi and show the specific micro organisms developing. Also paving the way for science in the future with the new tools available thanks to him.
May 17, 1749 - January 26, 1823
Edward Jenner, was an English physician and scientist who was the creator of the smallpox vaccine, being the world's first vaccine. The term "vaccine" and "vaccination" are derived from 'Variolae Vaccinae' and was the term used by Jenner when he referred to cowpox. Discovering from his observations of his surrounding community, that those in contact with the less severe cowpox disease were immune to the much more harmful smallpox.
March 15, 1813 - June 16, 1858
John Snow and also similarly Joseph Lister made contributions to science to help the acceptance of the Germ Theory of Disease in the scientific community pushing the scientific developments surrounding the observation and development of bacteria. Some research from scientists before them was already established by scientists such as Anton Van Leeuwenhoek and his original observations he referred to as 'Animacules' although the germ theory was created and originated from Ignaz Semmelweis. John Snow is considered one of the founders of modern epidemiology for his work in identifying the source of a cholera outbreak in 1854 and the actions required for prevention.
July 1, 1818 - August 13, 1865
Ignaz Semmelweis was the first person to suggest that disease was caused by small microorganisms or ‘germs’ although unfortunately his germ theory was not highly regarded and was rejected by the scientific community as it criticised the cleanliness of doctors in the medical profession, highly ranked and respected members of the community. He through his research and theory helped future scientists like Joseph Lister and John Snow who were able to prove the original theory developing it and making it an accepted and highly regarded theory.
December 27, 1822 - September 28, 1895
Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch were the first scientists to provide conclusive evidence against the theory of spontaneous generation. First disproved by Francesco Redi in 1668, Louis Pasteur and also Robert Koch were both able to provide conclusive evidence of the bacteria and other variables in play overruling the thoughts supporting spontaneous generation. (The ability to view and show these developments was largely discovered by other scientists although applied and proven by Louis and Robert, scientists like Anton Van Leeuwenhoek who was the first person to observe a single celled organism although not know it's function, reason or interactions. And also Ignaz Semmelweis originally creating the germ theory making the original connection.)
He also developed the action of Pasteurisation, an action still used today to remove bacteria from milk, and other liquids. Seen in the figure below.
April 5, 1827 - February 10, 1912
Joseph Lister and too John Snow made contributions to science to help the generate the acceptance of the Germ Theory of Disease originally researched by Ignaz Semmelweis.
Joseph Lister also is known as the ‘father of antiseptic surgery’ as he introduced sterile surgery. Being the first doctor to use antiseptic during a surgery helping to lower the number of infections and illnesses after surgery.
December 11, 1843 - May 27, 1910
Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur were the first scientists to provide conclusive evidence against the theory of spontaneous generation. First disproved by Francesco Redi in 1668 through controlled testing, Robert Koch and also Louis Pasteur were both able to provide conclusive evidence of the bacteria and other variables in play overruling the thoughts supporting spontaneous generation. (The ability to view and show these developments was largely discovered by other scientists although applied and proven by Robert and Louis, scientists like Anton Van Leeuwenhoek who was the first person to observe a single celled organism although not know it's function, reason or interactions. And also Ignaz Semmelweis originally creating the germ theory making the original connection)
Robert Koch also went on to prove that the disease anthrax was caused by a bacterium furthering research into the cause of many more diseases and prevention.
August 6, 1881 - March 11, 1955
Alexander Fleming was a doctor and bacteriologist who is responsible for the discovery of penicillin. Through research and experimentation, Fleming discovered a bacteria-destroying mould in which he gave name penicillin in 1928 named after the strain of mould that produced it, helping to pave the way for the use of antibiotics in modern healthcare. Learning through his own research that it was, in fact, one of the first ever antibiotics, knowing the clinical possibilities he attempted to harness penicillin although he failed to stabilise and purify penicillin. Leaving the door open for future development by other scientists, such as Howard Florey and Ernst B. Chain.
September 24, 1898 - February 21, 1968
On the back of the discovery by Alexander Fleming, a team of scientists from the University of Oxford was assembled. Led by Howard Florey and his co-worker, Ernst Chain they worked to isolate and purify penicillin, Florey and Chain developed methods of extracting and purifying penicillin, testing through the use of it on other bacteria, leading to a use on animals, performing various experiments to see the effectiveness of penicillin against streptococcus, a contributing bacterial cause for pneumonia. With mice being the subject, they were injected with streptococcus and half were also given an injection of penicillin. Those lacking the antibiotic died but the ones with it, survived. It is seen in the figure below. Testing on human patients first began in 1941 in hospitals. The antibiotic eventually came into use during World War II, revolutionising battlefield medicine and also on a wider scale, the field of infection control.
Florey, Chain and Fleming sharing the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, but a tainted relationship remained as a consequence of who should receive the most credit for penicillin and the developments made surrounding its initial creation, use and worth.