Q:

What were Anton van Leeuwenhoek's contributions to cell theory?

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Quick Answer

Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first scientist to closely observe cells under a microscope; he paved the way for a modern understanding of biology overall. He actually gave cells their name after the resemblance he believed they had to a monk's quarters. Anton van Leeuwenhoek is considered to be the father of microbiology.

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Full Answer

Anton van Leeuwenhoek was a very prolific scientist and had a very long life, dying at the age of 91. One of his most ground-breaking discoveries was also one of his first. His observations, in 1674, of scummy pond water led to the first visual descriptions and illustrations of such common organisms as the algae spirogyra. This contributed towards the foundation of several sub-fields of biology.

A few other important scientific milestones of van Leeuwenhoek's include the discovery that baker's yeast consists of tiny plant-like organisms; the discovery of motile bacteria in tartar on human teeth; and, what he considered his greatest discovery of all -- the direct observation of sperm cells in the semen of humans, dogs, swine, mollusks, amphibians, fish and birds. This discovery is particularly amazing considering the state of technology at the time, as sperm are some of the smallest cells in the human body.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who was Anton Van Leeuwenhoek?

    A:

    Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was a self-taught Dutch naturalist and microscopist who advanced the microscope's design and use. Through microscopes of his own design, Van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria, protozoa, spermatozoa, rotifers, Hydra, Volvox, and aphid parthenogenesis.

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  • Q:

    When were cilia and flagella discovered?

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    Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the person who discovered cilia and flagella in 1676. The discovery was sent to the Royal Society of London in a letter that described his findings as a second sort of animalcules whose figures were oval in shape with tiny legs.

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  • Q:

    Who invented the simple microscope?

    A:

    Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented the simple microscope in 1674, according to About.com. The simple microscope had one lens, which van Leeuwenhoek used to examine insects and other small objects.

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  • Q:

    When did Anton Von Leeuwenhoek invent the microscope?

    A:

    Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was not the inventor of the compound microscope. The microscope was invented by Robert Hooke of England and Jan Swammerdam of the Netherlands in 1595, almost 40 years before Leeuwenhoek was even born. However, Leeuwenhoek improved on the quality of the lens used in his microscopes.

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