The historical origin of cell biology

Origins of cell biology

Around us, we see living and non-living things and these study of living things or organisms are called biology. The basic unit of a living organism cannot directly be seen, heard or touch because of limitation so that is the reason for curiosity and done vast research on this topic. The basic unit of life is a cell. It can independently replicate, doing a biological process like respiration etc. The study of a cell is called cell biology.

History of cell biology is closely coupled to that of microscopy. Most plant and animal cell observed under a microscope, with length measured in micrometers. By contrast, the adult human is made up of about 30 trillion cells (1012).

At the end of sixteenth century, the first compound (double-lens) light microscopes were constructed. Robert Hooke (English microscopist) is the pioneering scientists had used their handmade microscopes to uncover a world that would never have been revealed to the naked eye. These lead to the origin of cell biology.

In 1665, observing cork under a microscope and he wrote that “I took a good clear piece of cork, and with a Pen-knife sharpened as keen as a Razor, I cut a piece of it off, and then examining it with a Microscope, I thought I could perceive it to appear a little porous much like a Honeycomb.” Hooke called the pores cells.

Important timeline - Origin of Cell Biology

1600: Compound microscope constructed.
1665: Robert Hook observed the cell and called cella (open space).
1674: Anton Van Leeuwenhoek saw live cell under a microscope (Spirogyra, algae). He also saw bacteria.
1638: Matthias Schleiden (a botanist) & Theodor Schwann (a German zoologist) proposed cell theory.
1855: Rudolf Virchow (a German pathologist) concluded that Cells can arise only by division from a pre-existing cell.
1857: Description of mitochondria given by Kolliker.
1938: Behrens used differential centrifugation to separate nuclei from the cytoplasm.
1939: Introduce electron microscope by Siemens.
1998: Mice are cloned from somatic cells.
1999: Hamilton and Baulcombe discover siRNA as part of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in plants.

Their discovery stemmed from the conviction of a small group of sixteenth-century microscope makers that a new and undiscovered world lay beyond the limits of the human eye. These pioneers set in motion a science and an industry that continues to the present day.

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