Robert Koch and the Study of Anthrax
In the late nineteenth century deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and anthrax were unstoppable killers. Doctors were helpless to prevent or effectively treat their patients because nobody knew what caused the disease in the first place. It wasn t until German scientist Robert Koch showed that anthrax and other scourges were caused by specific types of bacteria that mankind began to win the war on diseases. In addition to being a renowned researcher, Koch was also an important technical innovator. He was the first to develop an effective system for staining and photographing the microbes he studied under the microscope, the first to establish a scientific protocol to isolate and identify pathogens, and the first to use agar as a medium to grow bacteria cultures in the lab. Koch s lifelong dedication to eradicating disease earned him the 1905 Nobel Prize for Medicine and ensured his legacy as the founder of modern bacteriology.