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Biological Sciences
Rene E Harrison

Microscope an instrument that provides a magnied image of a tiny object Cells are observed through it Discovery of cells Robert Hooke English microscopist Age 27 Hooke called the pores cells because they reminded him of the cells inhabited by monks living in a monasteryAnton van Leeuwenhoek a Dutchman who earned a living selling clothes and buttons was spending his spare time grinding lenses and constructing simple microscopes of remarkable quality Leeuwenhoek was the rst to examine a drop of pond water under the microscope and to his amazement observe the teeming microscopic animalcules that darted back and forth before his eyes He was also the rst to describe various forms of bacteria which he obtained from water in which pepper had been soaked and from scrapings of his teeth His initial letters to the Royal Society describing this previously unseen world were met with such skepticism that the society dispatched its curator Robert Hooke to conrm the observations Theodor Schwann a German zoologist and colleague of Schleidens published a comprehensive report on the cellular basis of animal life Schwann concluded that the cells of plants and animals are similar structures and proposed these two tenets of the cell theoryAll organisms are composed of one or more cellsThe cell is the structural unit of lifeBy 1855 Rudolf Virchow a German pathologist had made a convincing Case for the third tenet of the cell theoryCells can arise only by division from a preexisting cell The rst culture of human cells was begun by George and Martha Gey of Johns Hopkins University in 1951 The cells were obtained from a malignant tumor and named HeLa cells after the donor Henrietta Lacks HeLa cellsdescended by cell division from this rst cell sampleare still being grown in the world today Organisms are built according to information encoded in a collection of genes The human genetic program contains enough information if converted to words to ll millions of pages of text Remarkably this vast amount of information is packaged into a set of chromosomes that occupies the space of a cell nucleus Genes are more than storage lockers for information they constitute the blueprints for constructing cellular structures the directions for running cellular activities and the program for making more of themselves The molecular structure of genes allows for changes in genetic information mutations that lead to variation among individuals which forms the basis of biological evolution
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