Development of microscope and cell

Introduction of Cell and Development of Microscope

 Living things are composed of material units called cells. A cell is the structural and functional unit of all living things. This means that it is the smallest part of the body of an organism, which is capable of independent existence and of performing the essential function of life. Cell as a unit was first seen by Robert Hooke, an English naturalist in 1665. He observed this slice of bottle cork under newly invented primitive model of compound microscope which worked with the help of the light of an oil lamp. He saw many compartments like honey comb and called it a cell, (Latin; cellular = a small apartment). As bottle cork is a dead thing, he must have mentioned only the cell wall, not the protoplasm.
Robert Hooke microscope

Robert Hooke microscope

 Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, the famous Dutch microscopist, using a good quality simple lens (mag × 200) observed nuclei and unicellular organisms including bacteria. He was the first man to discover the bacteria and protozoan.

Robert Brown (1831), an English Botanist described the nucleus as a characteristic spherical body in plant cell.

Leeuwenhoek’s simple microscope

Hugo Von Mohl (1846) was the first man to recognize the importance of living substance of the cell, the protoplasm.

Cell theory

After the discovery of nucleus, two German biologists, named M.J. Schledien (Botanist) and T. Schwann (Zoologist) postulated a theory known as “Cell Theory” (1838-39). According to this theory, all living bodies are essentially cellular in nature i.e. the cells are the basic unit of structure and function in living organism.

 Ordinary compound microscope

The ordinary compound microscope (a greatly improved design of the original Hooke’s microscope) and the electron microscope have helped to add more valuable information about the cell. The electron can give a magnification up to 200,000 times as against the ordinary compound microscope.

An ordinary compound microscope

An ordinary compound microscope

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