Papa, What's A Bacterium?

Alexandre Meinesz

in How Life Began

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226519319
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226519333 | DOI:
Papa, What's A Bacterium?

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For many, the world of bacteria was an unreal world. For the majority of non-biologists, the term at best suggests invisible, unhealthy germs. However, ever since Antoni van Leeuwenhoek observed them in the seventeenth century and the French biologist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) recognized them as germs that did not arise spontaneously from nothing, a wealth of research has elucidated the nature of bacteria. This chapter underscores the preeminence of bacteria.

Keywords: origin of life; bacteria; Antoni van Leeuwenhoek; Louis Pasteur; germs

Chapter.  6369 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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