Saturday, February 25, 2017

Discovery of cells

The discovery of cells is generally credited to Robert Hooke an English microscopist who at age 27 was awarded the position of curator of the Royal Society of London.

Robert Hooke’s discovery of the cell has allowed biologists to better understand living organism. Hooke’s work and discoveries mark the moment microscopy came of age as a scientific discipline.

In 1664 Hooke turned his microscope onto a thin sheet of dried cork and found it to be composed of a tightly packed pattern of tiny rectangular holes. He saw that the cork resembled the structure of honeycomb consisting of many little compartments. Actually, cork had large open cells. That’s why Hooke was able to see them all. He published his work in a book ‘Micrographia’ in 1665.
Robert Hooke
Hooke called these holes cells (the Latin word for small chambers that stand in a row - as in prison cells). These cells were empty because the cork was dead. Robert Hooke’s discovery was important, because it indicated for the first time that living organism consisted of a number of smaller structures or units.

In 1674, Anton von Leeuwenhoek, A Dutch microscopist, made an improvement microscope and using this microscope he discovered the free living cells in pond water for the first time. He used a simple microscope that he had made, using a tiny glass bead for a lens.

It wasn’t until the 1830 that the widespread importance of cells was realized. In 1838, Matthias Schleiden, a German lawyer turned botanist, concluded that despite differences in the structure of various tissue plant were made of cells and that the plant embryo arose from a single cell.
Discovery of cells
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