Is Animal Life Possible in the Absence of Bacteria?

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    Abstract

    SOME ten years ago Pasteur, in one of those “causeries du laboratoire” which those who were privileged to take part in will never forget, discussed with the young scientific men around him the interest which would attach to the nourishment of an animal from its earliest existence with sterilised food under conditions which would ensure the absence of all microbial life. “Sans vouloir rien affirmer,” he added, “je ne cache pas que j'entreprendrais cette étude, si j'en avais le temps, avec la pensée préconçue que la vie dans ses conditions deviendrait impossible. … Que le résultat soit positif et confirme la vue préconçue que je mets en avant ou qu'il soit négatif et même en sens inverse, c'est-à-dire que la vie soit plus facile et plus active, il y aurait un grand intérêct à tenter l'expérience.”

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    Is Animal Life Possible in the Absence of Bacteria?. Nature 55, 238 (1897) doi:10.1038/055238a0

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