The Germ Theory

Alice Hathaway
Flashcards by Alice Hathaway, updated more than 1 year ago


GCSE History (Medicine Through Time) Flashcards on The Germ Theory, created by Alice Hathaway on 04/28/2016.

Resource summary

Question Answer
What was the theory on micro-organisms before the germ theory? Spontaneous generation
What did this mean? The micro-organisms (as seen on rotting food) were spontaneously generated through the process of decay
Who came up with The Germ Theory? Louis Pasteur
When did he prove it? 1860-1864
What did he do first? Boiled up liquid and put half into an open flask and half into a swan neck flask
What was special about the swan neck flask? It didn't allow any air in it - it was 'sealed'
What did he find? After the first few days, the open flask had begun to get mouldy, but the liquick in the swan neck flask was still clean and sterile!
What did he do next? He checked his theory by leaving the flask for moths. It was still sterile! Then, he shook it so air was able to enter.
What did he find? After a few days, the liquid had gone mouldy
What did this prove? Germs were in the air, not spontaneously generated as previously thought! It was the germs in the air that caused things to mould.
What happened next? He began to link his discovery of germs to disease...
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