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Wine glass possibly used by Joseph Lister in his experiments on milk, Europe, 1870-1878

This wine glass may have been used by Joseph Lister (1827-1912) for his experiments on lactic fermentation. Lister studied fermentation because he thought it may 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 easily tested. Lactic fermentation is also rare so could not be caused accidentally by experimental error. A model representation of lactic fermentation made from plaster has been placed in the glass to show what the contents may have looked like. It is shown here with a similar example with a dome cover (A641005).

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Glossary: microbiology

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

Glossary: wine glass

Drinking glasses for wine, made in various shapes (usually stemmed), sizes, and styles; those in modern times are each said to be most suitable for a particular type of wine.

Glossary: lactic

relating to milk

Glossary: yellow fever

Infectious viral disease of hot climates. Symptoms include vomiting, constipation and jaundice.

Glossary: fermentation

A form of anaerobic respiration (respiration that does not need oxygen) occurring in certain micro-organisms, for example yeasts.