The Petri Dish and It’s Story

Petri Dish and It's Story
From the first antibiotics to the growth of stem cells, from observing micro- organisms to the testing of new medicines — it’s all possible thanks to the Petri dish, a short, flat cylinder cove- red with a transparent lid of a cor- responding shape. This humble glass plate has its own fascinating story.

A Pure Culture

In 1872, Robert Koch, who would later become a renowned micro­biologist, was named the District Medical Officer in Wollstein (now Wolsztyn in Poland), where an anthrax outbreak was running rampant at the time. The disease was known even back in antiquity when it was called “sacred fire”: people thought that only furious gods could have sent such a scourge to Earth. Anthrax was a threat to all agricultural settlements — more often than not, livestock were infected. However, animals were not the only ones to die: the illness also claimed the lives of farmers, shepherds, and milkmaids.

Robert Koch

Robert Koch (1843–1910) was a German microbiologist. He discovered Bacillus anthracis, Vibrio cholerae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Koch’s Bacillus). In 1905, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medi­cine “for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis.”

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An astronaut floating in space above the earth, surrounded by particles and positrons.

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