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This flask was designed and possibly used by Joseph Lister (1827-1912), the surgeon and pioneer of antisepsis, in his microbiology experiments. It has a glass stopper covered with gauze and a long thin spout which is slightly bent to prevent any dust entering the flask. The bend is used to trap dirt and dust from the atmosphere and stop it contaminating the contents but still allow air into the flask. This flask would have been boiled before it was filled with fluids in order to make it sterile.

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Glossary: microbiology

Branch of biology that deals with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their effects.

Glossary: flask

A bottle with a wide body and a thinner neck used in Chemistry. Traditionally made of glass, but more recently made from plastic.

Glossary: antisepsis

The practice of using antiseptic drugs to eliminate harmful micro-organisms.