quote by Louis Pasteur

Messieurs, c'est les microbes qui auront le dernier mot." (Gentlemen, it is the microbes who will have the last word.)

— Louis Pasteur

Provocative Microbe quotations

I play with microbes. There are, of course, many rules to this play...but when you have acquired knowledge and experience it is very pleasant to break the rules and to be able to find something nobody has thought of.

When we seed millions of acres of land with these plants, what happens to foraging birds, to insects, to microbes, to the other animals, when they come in contact and digest plants that are producing materials ranging from plastics to vaccines to pharmaceutical products?

As it takes two to make a quarrel, so it takes two to make a disease, the microbe and its host.

For each illness that doctors cure with medicine, they provoke ten in healthy people by inoculating them with the virus that is a thousand times more powerful than any microbe: the idea that one is ill.


If it is a terrifying thought that life is at the mercy of the multiplication of these minute bodies [microbes], it is a consoling hope that Science will not always remain powerless before such enemies.

The Microbe is so very small You cannot make him out at all, But many sanguine people hope To see him through a microscope.

Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play. Whales and elephants, dancing, humming gnats, and invisibly small mischievous microbes- all are warm with divine radium and must have lots of fun in them.

It is sometimes as dangerous to be run into by a microbe as by a trolley car.

A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe.


To demonstrate experimentally that a microscopic organism actually is the cause of a disease and the agent of contagion, I know no other way, in the present state of Science, than to subject the microbe (the new and happy term introduced by M. Sédillot) to the method of cultivation out of the body.

All it takes,” said Crake, “is the elimination of one generation.

One generation of anything. Beetles, trees, microbes, scientists, speakers of French, whatever. Break the link in time between one generation and the next, and it’s game over forever.

Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play.

Our bodies are home to trillions of microbes, and these creatures define who we are.

If you are the body, you are in terrible trouble! One small microbe will destroy it one day, if not an accident. You have but a short time to live in this world.


The first telescope opened the heavens;

the first microscope opened the world of the microbes; radioisotopic methodology, as exemplified by RIA, has shown the potential for opening new vistas in science and medicine.

To ferment your own food is to lodge a small but eloquent protest - on behalf of the senses and the microbes - against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe.

The immune systems goal is to protect the body against invaders either from without, such as microbes, or from within, such as cancers and different types of neoplastic transformation.

The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.

What's natural is the microbe. All the rest-heath, integrity, purity (if you like)-is a product of the human will, of a vigilance that must never falter. The good man, the man who infects hardly anyone, is the man who has the fewest lapses of attention.


In gardens it's not just plants and insects and microbes that grow.

People grow too, and the best bit is that they don't realise it's happening. It just happens.

In the same way that plants will not grow on soil that lacks some substance indispensable to their growth, so microbes, these microscopic plants which cause infectious disease, are unable to grow in an organism which does not give them all the substances they need.

The nature of a protective immune response to HIV is still unclear.

Because in a very, very unique manner, unlike virtually any other microbe with which we're familiar, the HIV virus has evolved in a way that the immune system finds it very difficult, if not impossible, to deal with the virus.

The highly complex, almost mathematical, nature of music creates for it an ironclad protection against the microbes of dilletantism, which penetrate much more easily into the fields of painting, literature, and the theater.

Microbes are just nature's janitors who work to clean up a poorly kept culturing medium. Trying to keep microbes off of and out of your body is like trying to keep the wind out of the trees.


Most life on Earth is microbes. we've only just scratched the surface of the microbial realm. Probably less than .1% of microbes have been classified let alone cultured or had their genes sequenced, so really that microbial realm is a mystery.

Man is the weak being who, in spite of all his self-importance and pride of wealth and capital, is vanquished by the smallest microbe.

The microbe is so very small: You cannot take him out at all.

Perhaps dirt is the necessary condition of beauty.

... Perhaps hygiene and art can never be bedfellows. No Verdi, after all, without spitting into trumpets. No Duse without a crowd of malodorous bourgeois giving one another their coryzas. And think of the inexpugnable retreats for microbes prepared by Michelangelo in the curls of Moses' beard!

We actually have 10 times as many cells of microbes on us as we have human cells. ... We are literally a teeming ecosystem of microorganisms.


What we need is a full field guide to the microbes that live in and on people, so that we can understand what they're doing to our lives. We are them; they are us.

Microbes are doing things we didn't even know they could do 10 years ago.

In 1494, King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy.

Within months, his army collapsed and fled. It was routed not by the Italian army but by a microbe. A mysterious new disease spread through sex killed many of Charles’s soldiers and left survivors weak and disfigured. French soldiers spread the disease across much of Europe, and then it moved into Africa and Asia. Many called it the French disease. The French called it the Italian disease. Arabs called it the Christian disease. Today, it is called syphilis.

There may be a million microbes of misery floating about us.

Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened.

There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them.

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