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Discovery of Cells

There are several discoveries that have changed the course of science and the world. Louis Pasteur discovered how heat can be used to kill pathogens in food, Nikola Tesla discovered alternating currents, and so on.

Similarly, the discovery of cells was a major breakthrough in the advancement of life science. Let us have a detailed overview of the cell discovery, who discovered cells and how were the cells discovered.

Who Discovered Cells?

Cells are the basic structural and functional unit of life. The term “cells” was first coined in 1665 by a British scientist Robert Hooke. He was the first person to study living things under a microscope and examined a thin slice of cork under a microscope and observed honeycomb-like structures. Robert Hooke called these structures as cells.

Soon after this Antonie Van Leuwenhoek made further discoveries by inventing his own microscope lenses that were more powerful than the microscopes of his time. He was the first person to observe human cells and bacteria under his microscope.

With the advancements in microscopes, more discoveries were made about cells. However, with the help of a light microscope, it became difficult to visualise the minute structures inside the cells. As a result, a more powerful microscope, known as the electron microscope was invented that made it easier to observe objects smaller than cells.

Also Read: Early Experiments on Photosynthesis

Discovery of Stem Cells

The stem cells were discovered by Martin Evans and Matt Kauffman. They identified, isolated and cultured the embryonic stem cells from a mouse blastocyst in 1981. Later, James Thomson and his subordinates isolated the embryonic stem cells from a human blastocyst. This helped the scientists to generate the building blocks of the human body in unlimited amounts. The discovery made it possible to have cell types for therapeutic purposes and new transplantation methods that were impossible in earlier times.

Landmarks in Discovery of Cells

Robert HookeDiscovered cells
Anton Van LeuwenhoekDiscovered protozoa and bacteria
Robert BrownDiscovered cell nucleus
Albert Von KollikerDiscovered mitochondria
Schleiden and SchwannProposed cell theory
Evans and KauffmanDiscovered Embryonic Stem Cells from mice
James ThomsonDiscovered Embryonic Stem Cells from humans
Camillo GolgiGolgi apparatus
Joseph Beinaime Caventou and Pierre Joseph PelletierDiscovered chlorophyll

Also Read: Difference between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

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