Set of six test tubes used by Joseph Lister, United Kingdom, 1875-1878
This set of six test tubes held in a glass stand by wire was used by Joseph Lister (1827-1912) for his experiments on lactic fermentation. Lister studied fermentation because he thought it might give him information about human diseases, such as specific fevers, that are similar to fermentation. Lister chose to study lactic fermentation as it is simple to recognise (by the curdling of milk) and can be easily tested. The open test tubes were used to mimic open wounds. Lactic fermentation is also rare so could not be caused accidentally by experimental error. The test tubes are shown here with a glass slab (A645135).
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Branch of biology that deals with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their effects.
relating to milk
Glossary: specific fever
Produced by a peculiar poison, or an exclusive or specific cause, and the fever runs, or strongly tends to run, to a definite course which can be used to identify the fever; an example is yellow fever
Glossary: test tube
Hollow cylinders of thin glass with one end closed. Test tubes are used for chemical and biological experiments and analysis.
A form of anaerobic respiration (respiration that does not need oxygen) occurring in certain micro-organisms, for example yeasts.