Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch, better known as Robert Koch, was born on December 11, 1843.
Koch was a German microbiologist and a physician. He dedicated his life to medicine and he was one of the founders of bacteriology.
He was an avid reader and researcher, and this led him to make significant improvements in the laboratory technologies he was using.
Continue reading and discover all these amazing facts about Robert Koch
Interesting facts about Robert Koch
1. Robert Koch was very intelligent as a boy
Robert Heinrich Hermann Koch was born on December 11, 1843, in Germany. His father was a mining engineer and his mother was always busy trying to make ends meet.
An interesting fact about Robert Koch is that he was so intelligent that when he was only five years old he taught himself how to read. All of his family members were impressed by his ability to do so, especially because he used old and discarded newspapers to help his learning journey.
He attended his local high school, which is called Gymnasium in Germany, and he became really interested in Biology and Chemistry.
2. Koch’s early training helped him to achieve many things
Koch graduated from the University of Gottingen in 1866. He studied Medicine and as soon as he left his place of studies, he became a physician in several towns around the area.
During the Franco-Prussian War, which was from 1870-71, Koch also became a field surgeon, helping whenever and wherever it was needed.
A couple of years later, he decided to build his own laboratory. There, he had a microscope, a microtome and an incubator he had designed and built.
In 1840, Koch published his first paper where he argued that infectious diseases were caused by parasitic organisms that would multiply themselves in order to reproduce and spread.
Robert Koch felt something was missing though, and after completing his studies he decided to move to Berlin in order to study chemistry.
3. He was interested in doing research
Most of Koch’s teachers were important researchers who had published many scientific articles and books.
In 1850, a French parasitologist called Casimir Joseph Davaine, became the first person to observe different types of organisms in the blood of diseased animals. More than a decade later, in 1863, Davaine was now talking about how anthrax is transmitted, and even though he made huge progress, the whole story about this disease was far from complete.
Koch then took all of this knowledge and decided to do his own research on anthrax.
4. Koch’s research on Anthrax
As a scientist, he really wanted to come to terms with how Anthrax spreads, so he cultivated anthrax’s organisms in his laboratory and he was able to prove how and in what shape they grow, an interesting fact about Robert Koch.
These organisms develop and become big filaments and they also have some dried spores. His results show that even though these spores are dried, they could still remain a source for bacteria to develop, if, of course, they are exposed under certain conditions.
In turn, these bacteria will cause anthrax. All of this information was published, and it was welcomed by scientists and not scientists alike, since anthrax was a common issue among the farm animals during that time.
5. He became obsessed with Anthrax
Koch wanted to know everything there was to know about Anthrax. One of the first things he researched was the correlation between the anthrax bacilli, which is the name given of the bacteria and animals.
More specifically, the scientist wanted to see if an animal that hadn’t been in contact with the bacteria, were still able to cause and spread the disease? With his results, he discovered that the bacilli were still able to cause anthrax even if they didn’t have contact with an animal.
In addition, after the results were published in 1876, Koch became famous. He continued to work alongside his editor of the time as he was able to practice alongside him on how to take better photographs of the bacteria they were found.
6. His methods of teaching were not welcomed by some
An interesting fact about Robert Koch is that many of his students were surprised when they left their first class with Professor Koch. Apparently, he wasn’t an eloquent speaker.
Nevertheless, Robert Koch became one of the most famous lecturers of the time, because his demonstrations, his examples, and his ability to explain difficult things would really catch everybody’s attention.
Koch had numerous pupils from all over the world. People would go wherever he was in order to study with one of the new creators of bacteriology.
7. Robert Koch traveled the world trying to learn more about different diseases
Koch loved to travel, so it was only a matter of time until he would combine all of his passions together. In Berlin, he was able to invent new methods, and he called one of them Reinkulturen, which basically meant he would cultivate pure cultures of bacteria in different places, such as a potato.
He was researching tuberculosis and he was sent to Egypt to investigate an outbreak that had occurred during that time. Cholera was spreading rapidly again. He then went to India where he continued his studies on the subject.
Koch traveled to South Africa as well, where he did some research on rinderpest. He moved around Africa for quite a bit, and then he decided to return to Germany.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, and a year later he returned to Central Africa to do more research on several diseases, including malaria, an interesting Robert Koch fact.
Robert Koch was beyond his time. And even though during the beginning of his career he lacked many things, and his laboratory seemed like an amateur lab, he still managed to overcome all his problems and he was able to present his discoveries and technical innovations.
He was well-recognized in the world of science and he established fundamental concepts that are still being used nowadays.
Robert Koch died of heart disease on May 28, 1910, in Baden-Baden, Germany.
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