Cell theory, Biology

Cell Theory

The invention  of  the  compound microscope  in  the 17th century stimulated the  interest in living things not  visible  to  the  naked  eyes. Thus, Robert Hooke discovered  'cells'  in 1665 by  examining cork  slices  (,under  a crude microscope. He was  actually describing  the spaces occupied by  the cells  limited by  the cellulose walls. Hooke and his contemporaries also described cells from other plants  and  animals.


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Figure: A generalized plant (a) and animal (b) cell. No one cell of either plant (a) or animal (b) has all the characteristics shorn in these composite figures. Both these are


However, cell theory, one of  the  greatest  and most basic generalizations of  biology, was formulated only  about 200 years later. Two German  investigators, Schleiden a botanist (1838), and Schwann, a zoologist  (1839) are credited with  presenting  independently the first concise, yet  comprehensive, statements about the cell. They  pointed out  that, "All plants and. animals are made up of  small fundamental units called cells and that some organisms are unicellular and others, multicellular." Subsequent researched  to the expansion of  this concept by  including further information on  cells. We  know that cells are surrounded by  cell membrane and contain cytoplasm and  nucleus and, most importantly, cells divide into  roughly  equal daughter cells by  a process called  cell division. Thus it became known  that new  cells come into existence only by the division of  previously  existing cells.  In  other words,  cells do not  arise by spontaneous generation  from  nonliving matter. It  follows that all cells living  today  can trace their ancestry back  to those which  existed  in  ancient times.


Posted Date: 1/12/2013 2:49:12 AM | Location : United States

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