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14. The Germ Theory of Disease

Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600 (HIST 234) Although the development of the germ theory of disease in the latter half of the nineteenth century marks a major revolution in medical science, comparable to the discoveries of Galileo in astronomy or Darwin in biology, it cannot be reduced to the heroic efforts of a single researcher or group of researchers. Rather, a number of conceptual, technological and institutional preconditions made the germ theory possible. Among these, contagionism, microscopy and hospital medicine all played a major role. The germ theory of disease facilitated a wide range of scientific advances, including the isolation of pathogens, the creation of vaccines and the introduction of antiseptics in surgery. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Germ Theory of Disease 03:33 - Chapter 2. Preconditions 14:34 - Chapter 3. Louis Pasteur 24:17 - Chapter 4. Attenuation 33:28 - Chapter 5. Robert Koch' 39:31 - Chapter 6. Therapeutic Effects Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2010.
Length: 49:13


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