Q:

What was Rudolf Virchow's contribution to cell theory?

A:

Quick Answer

The German doctor Rudolf Virchow proposed that all cells result from the division of previously existing cells, and this idea became a key piece of modern cell theory. Virchow also founded the discipline of cellular pathology based on the idea that diseases do not affect an entire organism but are instead localized to certain groups of cells. This made it easier to diagnose and treat diseases.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Virchow was appointed as the chair of pathological anatomy at the University of Wurzburg in 1849 and carried out a great deal of research. In 1855, he first published his idea that all cells arise from other cells. Rather than being formed by the action of a life force or spontaneously crystallizing from other matter, Virchow argued that cells only formed from the division of other cells. This idea is one of the key principles of cell theory, along with the idea that the cell is the basic unit of organization for living organisms.

During this period, he also proposed the basic ideas of cellular pathology. Rather than being the result of changes in an organism as a whole, Virchow believed that diseases result from changes in specific groups of cells. By examining cells for certain changes or alterations, doctors can more precisely identify and diagnose a disease.

Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where is RNA found in the cell?

    A:

    Ribonucleic acid, also known as RNA, is found almost exclusively in the cytoplasm of cells, although at times it can created in the nucleus of the cell. RNA is a major biological macromolecule that is required for life.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What limits cell division?

    A:

    Cell division is limited by a process called cellular senescence, during which cells in culture divide more slowly before stopping entirely. The cells do not necessarily die during senescence, but they no longer replicate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is cell theory?

    A:

    Cell theory is the scientific theory that describes the properties of cells, primarily that the cell is the basic unit of life, and all living things are made of cells and all cells come from pre-existing cells. Modern cell theory is the result of centuries of research and experimentation facilitated by the invention of the microscope. Cell theory dispels the past myth of spontaneous generation or life coming from nothing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did Linus Pauling contribute to DNA research?

    A:

    Linus Pauling's contribution to DNA research was the triple-helix DNA model. This model, which was published in 1953, was incorrect, but it did lay the foundation for James Watson and Francis Crick's correct model of DNA as a double helix.

    Full Answer >

Explore