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  1. ‘Birth, life, and death of infectious diseases’: Charles Nicolle and the invention of medical ecology in France.Pierre-Olivier Méthot - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):2.
    In teasing out the diverse origins of our “modern, ecological understanding of epidemic disease” Greater than the parts: holism in biomedicine, 1920–1950, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998), historians have downplayed the importance of parasitology in the development of a natural history perspective on disease. The present article reassesses the significance of parasitology for the “invention” of medical ecology in post-war France. Focussing on the works of microbiologist Charles Nicolle and on that of physician and zoologist Hervé Harant, I argue that (...)
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  • Petri dish versus Winogradsky column: a longue durée perspective on purity and diversity in microbiology, 1880s–1980s.Mathias Grote - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):11.
    Microbial diversity has become a leitmotiv of contemporary microbiology, as epitomized in the concept of the microbiome, with significant consequences for the classification of microbes. In this paper, I contrast microbiology’s current diversity ideal with its influential predecessor in the twentieth century, that of purity, as epitomized in Robert Koch’s bacteriological culture methods. Purity and diversity, the two polar opposites with regard to making sense of the microbial world, have been operationalized in microbiological practice by tools such as the “clean” (...)
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