Essay on Paul Ehrlich

This essay has a total of 1018 words and 8 pages.

Paul Ehrlich


I. A World To Change


Everyone on this earth has to be grateful to Paul Ehrlich because he made so many advances
in medical research. Our life expectancy rate would still be around forty years if Ehrlich
hadn't been interested in chemistry and biology as a young boy. If Ehrlich hadn't combined
so many different chemicals, he would have never combined the chemical known as number
606.


Ehrlich helped Emil von Behring find an antitoxin for diphtheria. Diphtheria is a disease
that particularly affects children and sometimes leads to death. In 1894, mothers no
longer had to worry about their child dying of diphtheria because of Ehrlich's help in the
discovery of the antitoxin for the deadly disease.


Another discovery Ehrlich made was of a dye called trypan red. Trypan red helped destroy
cells that caused sleeping sickness. His research of antibodies and understanding how the
antibodies attack harmful substances that enter the body has made him the "founder" of
modern chemotherapy.


Ehrlich is best known for his work on curing syphilis. Syphilis is an infectious disease
transmitted by sexual contact or kissing. Ehrlich named the compound that cured syphilis
"salvarsan". This was a very effective way to cure syphilis.


II. Background


A. Family


Paul Ehrlich was born on March 14, 1854 in Strehlen, Silesia. Ehrlich was born in to a
middle-class, Jewish family. He was the only son and fourth child of Ismar and Rosa
Ehrlich. His father owned a small distillery. Ehrlich had an Orthodox Jewish upbringing in
a time when being a Jew was controversial.


B. Childhood

When Ehrlich was six years old he started his schooling at the local primary school. At
age ten, he boarded with a professor's family in Breslau and went to St. Maria Magdalena
Humanistic Gymnasium. Ehrlich was often at the top of his class and his best subjects were
math and Latin.


C. Advanced Education and Training

Ehrlich took an introductory course in natural sciences at Breslau University in 1872. He
then went to Strasbourg for three semesters. In 1874, Ehrlich returned to Breslau where he
completed his medical degree studies. In 1877, he passed the state medical examination. In
1878 he received his medical degree.


III. Research and Development

A. Discussion of the Area of Biology

Most of Ehrlich's discoveries had something to do with the immune system. The immune
system is a body system that is responsible for destroying disease-causing cells. When
Ehrlich was still in school, he was staining white blood cells to see their different
characteristics with his work on antibodies, he is knows as the "founder" of modern
chemotherapy. If Ehrlich had not learned about the immune system, then he might not have
discovered the different things he discovered.


B. Discoveries or Work

1. Summary (of all discoveries or work)

Ehrlich helped to discover the antitoxin for diphtheria. Ehrlich discovered Trypan red, a
dye that helped destroy cells that cause sleeping sickness. In 1909, Ehrlich discovered
salvarsan, a cure for syphilis. His work with trypan red and salvarsan marked the
beginning of modern chemotherapy.


2. Details of Major Work or Major Discovery

In 1907, Ehrlich was working on a chemical compound. This compound he was testing on
trypanosomes, which are the cells that cause sleeping sickness. The compound was named
606. Since it did not work, Ehrlich went on.


In 1909, Ehrlich's new assistant re-looked at chemical 606. It still did not work well on
trypanosomes but very well on spirochets. Spirochets are the microorganism that causes the
Continues for 4 more pages >>