One of the traditional arguments against abiogenesis was the claim that the heat used to sterilize the air or specimens was destroying a vital force of life which did not allow microorganisms to spontaneously appear. People believed for many centuries the concept of spontaneous generation, i.e. the creation of life from organic matter.
The proponents of spontaneous generation believed that living organisms could generate from non-living things. John Tyndall, an English physicist conducted his experiments in a specially designed box called “Tyndall chamber” with which he proved that dust carried germs.
He showed that dust did carry microbes, and if dust was absent the sterile broth will still remain sterile for indefinite period of time even if it was directly exposed to air. Tyndall’s work in 1877 led to the development a process called “Tyndallization” – which is used for the complete sterilization of food by alternate heating and cooling.
He observed that boiling the infusion for more than 5 hours was not sufficient enough to sterilize it, and he concluded that bacteria has both thermo-stable and thermo-labile phases, thus proving the existence of heat resistant forms of bacteria as was also confirmed by Ferdinand Cohn.
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