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6043   Louis Pasteur Autograph Manuscript Signed  $500 $3181 $3500 13 You must login to place a bid.
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#6043 - Louis Pasteur Autograph Manuscript Signed Estimate: $8,000+

"Notes on the Cell Structure of the Silk Worm"

AMS in French, signed "L. Pasteur," one page, 5.25 x 8.25, March 1867. A page of notes headed "Notes on the Cell Structure of the Silk Worm," in part (translated): "In the findings relative to silk worm diseases reported during the month of January 1867 to the Imperial Commission for silk culture which were then printed in the February issue of the Messenger for Agriculture in the South of France, I mentioned the existence on each corpuscle of a median line in the direct of the long axis. A sufficiently powerful and sharp microscope makes it possible to see the line along the axis. What you can clearly distinguish is a sharply delineated oval, with the entire portion delineated within the oval line being much brighter than the rest of the corpuscle…I asked myself if that oval line could not perhaps be the contour of an opening for the secretion of some amorphous substance needed for the reproduction of the corpuscles. It is nothing of the kind. That oval line is nothing but the contour of a cell nucleus enclosed by each corpuscle which has the exact same shape as the corpuscle itself. It is very easy to make that nucleus visible by means of various reagents, especially iodine." In fine condition.

Beginning in 1855, a widespread epidemic among silkworms nearly brought the French silk industry to ruin. As the crisis reached its peak in 1865, Pasteur—then serving as the professor of geology, physics, and chemistry at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris—was asked by the Department of Agriculture to head a commission to investigate the devastating disease infecting the worms. Within five years, he had determined that temperature, humidity, ventilation, quality of the food, sanitation and adequate separation of the broods of newly hatched worms all played a role in susceptibility to the disease, and was able to create new methods breeding that would preserve healthy eggs and prevent contamination. An important topic in Pasteur's career, his research with the silkworms helped shape his future concepts on the influence of environment on contagion, leading to his most significant contributions in the study of causes and prevention of disease.

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