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This glass pipette was used by Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), the French chemist and microbiologist, to remove saliva from dogs infected with rabies. Rabies can be passed by a bite or saliva from an infected animal. By extracting virulent samples of the disease from the central nervous system of infected animals and injected them into people with rabies, he created a successful vaccine in 1885. In 1888 the Pasteur Institute was established in Paris for the treatment of rabies. Pasteur worked there until his death. His rabies vaccine was only the second vaccine to be developed against a human illness.

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Glossary: microbiology

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

Glossary: rabies

Rabies is a disease which infects domestic and wild animals. It is a virus transmitted to other animals and humans through close contact with saliva from those infected (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin). Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal.

Glossary: pipette

A graduated tube (marked in ml) used to transport a definite volume of a gas or liquid in laboratory work.

Glossary: virulent

Extremely poisonous or venomous. Often applied to bacteria or a disease that can easily overcome the body's defences.