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German-born Nobel Prize winner Robert Koch (1843-1910) is honored today as father of microbiology, but his scientific career was not without a blemish. In the process of his history-making research on tuberculosis, he became convinced that he could cure it. In 1890, one young British doctor was so impressed by that possibility that he traveled to Berlin to witness what was to be a triumphant demonstration. That physician was Arthur Conan Doyle. His critique helped undo Koch's claims, but it might have served another purpose by helping to inspire the creation of another sharp-eyed empiricist: Sherlock Holmes. A readable narrative by former Wired executive editor Thomas Goetz.