By Attia, A.; Buisson. G. (ed.)
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Extra info for Advances in Mesopotamian Medicine from Hammurabi to Hippocrates
33 Moreover, opponents of the germ theory could point to numerous well-publicized cases in which early microscopical enthusiasts supposedly isolated the living agent of a deadly disease from secretions of the ill, only to have the germ in question turn out to be some innocent organism. A case in point was the American physician James H. Salisbury, who claimed in the 1860s to have found the fungal causes of measles, typhoid, malaria, and other fevers. Salisbury developed some ingenious proofs to associate the microscopic palmella plant with malaria; for example, he had volunteers sleep in rooms with boxes of palmella-infused soil on their window sills and observed that they soon fell ill of the fever.
The zymotic theory of disease was associated with the German chemist Justus von Liebig, whose work had helped popularize the analogy between disease and fermentation. 18 Trained in chemistry at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, Pasteur first established his scientific reputation in the field of crystallography. In the mid-1850s, while teaching chemistry at a university in Lille, a center of the beet-sugar distilling industry, he became increasingly interested in the process of fermentation.
21 In retrospect, the connections between Pasteur's early work and the germ theory of disease that emerged around 1870 seem obvious. But in the late 1850s and early 1860s, Pasteur was primarily interested in the general problems of fermentation and spontaneous generation, not the specific relationship between microbes and disease. 22 32 • The Gospel Emergent Although it is often credited to Pasteur, the modern germ theory of disease actually emerged through a far more collaborative sharing of ideas and research.
Advances in Mesopotamian Medicine from Hammurabi to Hippocrates by Attia, A.; Buisson. G. (ed.)