Google on Sunday honoured the Nobel-winning German physician and microbiologist Robert Koch with a doodle which celebrated his work. Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on December 10, 1905, “for his investigations and discoveries in relation to tuberculosis”.
Koch’s work helped in understanding germs and how they cause infectious diseases. He played a significant role in identifying the bacterium for anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis.
“Through the perfection he gave to methods of culturing and identifying micro-organisms, he has been able to carry out his work with regard to disinfectants and methods of disinfection so important for practical hygiene, and advice concerning the early detection and combating of certain epidemic diseases such as cholera, typhus and malaria,” Count KAH Mörner, rector of the Royal Caroline Institute, said in his presentation speech in 1905.
He also inspired a new generation of scientists and “microbe-hunters”, ushering them into a Golden Age of Bacteriology when scientists discovered the microorganisms responsible for causing twenty-one different diseases. “As soon as the right method was found, discoveries came as easily as ripe apples from a tree,” Koch explained.
Today’s Google doodle by Sophie Diao features potato slices – the original medium which Koch used to isolate pure bacterial cells to help with his research. The Nobel laureate experimented with potato slices until his assistant, Julius Petri, invented the Petri dish, which has also been featured in the doodle.