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December 23, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(26):2162-2163. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640260034014

The hundredth anniversary of Pasteur's birth is an appropriate occasion for recalling briefly his services to medicine and to humanity. The descendant of old families of working country people, he received through the sacrifices of his parents and sisters a thorough education, became a deep student of chemistry, and while still a young man solved the problem of the different rotatory effects on light by tartrate crystals of the same chemical composition. This achievement in crystallography and molecular arrangement became, so to speak, the bridge over which he passed into an intensive study of various fermentations, as he soon learned that the tartrates developed in fermenting organic materials. In the course of these studies, he observed that in the fermentation by Penicillium glaucum of ammonium paratartrate, the dextrorotatory acid alone putrefied, that is, fermented, and for the reason, he says, that "the ferments of that fermentation feed more easily on