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The period from 1857 to 1914 has been appropriately named the Golden Age of Microbiology. During this period, rapid advances, spearheaded mainly by Pasteur and Robert Koch, led to the establishment of microbiology as a science. Discoveries during these years included both the agents of many diseases and the role of immunity in preventing and curing disease. During this productive period, microbiologists studied the chemical activities of microorganisms, improved the techniques for performing microscopy and culturing microorganisms, and developed vaccines and surgical techniques.

During this period, rapid advances, spearheaded mainly by Pasteur and Robert Koch, led to the establishment of microbiology as a science. Discoveries during these years included both the agents of many diseases and the role of immunity in preventing and curing disease. During this productive period, microbiologists studied the chemical activities of microorganisms, improved the techniques for performing microscopy and culturing microorganisms, and developed vaccines and surgical techniques. 4. CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING ✓ ✓ What evidence supported spontaneous generation?

2 Next he heated the neck of the flask and bent it into an S-shape; then he boiled the broth for several minutes. 3 Microorganisms did not appear in the cooled solution, even after long periods. Bend prevented microbes from entering flask. Microorganisms were present in the broth. Microorganisms were not present in the broth after boiling. KEYCONCEPTS • Pasteur demonstrated that microbes are responsible for food spoilage, leading researchers to the connection between microbes and disease. • His experiments and observations provided the basis of aseptic techniques, which are used to prevent microbial contamination, as shown in the photo at right.

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