Learn how Robert Hooke and many others discovered the cell!

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The Life of the Scientist

Robert Hooke was born in July, 1635, in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, England. Very few details of his childhood are known. When he was little, he had bad health, like just about everyone else in that time. Hooke had lots of curiosity and loved mechanics. He went first to Westminister School, and from there he went to Oxford. He made a great impression by designing experiments and building. Sadly, he died on March 3, 1703, in London, England.
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The Cell Theory

The cell was discovered by the great Robert Hooke. He looked at thin slices of cork under a microscope and saw many tiny pores. He said they looked like walled compartments a monk would live in. Because of that remark, Hooke named them cells, a name still in use today. But, Hooke didn't know their structure or purpose. Hooke's description of these cells was written and published in Micrographia, but his description showed nothing about the cells organelles.

The first man to see an alive cell under a microscope was Antony van Leeuwenhoek. The idea that cells could be seperated into units was created by Ludolph Christian Treviranus and Johann Jacob Paul Moldenhawer. All of these discoveries led to Henri Dutrochet creating one of the modern cell theories by saying; "The Cell is the fundamental element of organization.".

All the contributions of Hooke, Leeuwenhoek, Treviranus, Moldenhawer, and Dutrochet helped create the cell theory that we have today. The cell theory reads:

  • All living things or organisms are made of cells and their products.
  • New cells are created by old cells dividing into two.
  • Cells are the basic building units of life.

So next time you learn about cells, you can thank Robert Hooke and all the other scientistis that made it possible to learn about cells.


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