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BIOL 3200 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Henri Dutrochet, Franz Unger, Theodor Schwann

Course Code
BIOL 3200
Jan Sapp
Study Guide

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Chapter 7 the myth of cell theory
Cell theory (3 tenets):
1. All plants and animals are made of cells
2. Cells possess all attributes of life (assimilation, growth, repro)
a. i.e. cells are the basic units of life (thus they can live independently)
3. Cells arise from pre-existing cells
For evolutionary biology, the cell theory pointed towards/emphasized the unity of life; that every
organism is or at some time had been a cell
Origins of Cell theory
Matthias Jacob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann
o Often taught to be the founders of cell theory, but much of what they are given credit
for had already been covered by others, and much of their work contradicted the tenets
of the cell theory
1st tenet:
o Both maintained, but idea did not originate with them
o Instead, Brisseau de Mirbel and Lamarck
2nd tenet:
o Henri Dutrochet and J.P.F. Turpin first proposed this idea
3rd tenet:
o Scleiden and Schwann both opposed this tenet
o They believed cells actually arose from cell reproduction, not by cell division
This was known as free cell formation, The idea that cells arose from
undifferentiated chemical substances called cytoblastem
o Barthelemy Charles Dumortier, Hugo Mohl, Franz Unger, Robert Remak and Rudof
Virchow all contributed to the idea that cells arise only from the division of pre-existing
If most of which they are known for was stated by others before them, and their concepts of the
origin of cells was wrong, why are they given all the credit?
I “hleide’s ase, he as a er loud oie i the field ad eouraged many other scientists
to join the field of cell biology
Schwann also had an enormous impact in the field with research and books he released
So, essentially, they had large impacts on the field and were well known
Research on cells led to technological improvements in things like microscopy which ultimately led to
the ability to study microbes and germs
Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch led the research in this field
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Materialism vs. Vitalism
The ongoing debate of whether microbes and germs did/did not spontaneously arise from bad
air or from bad matter was a very important for modern microbiology and the germ theory of
The belief of spontaneous generation of germs began with Felix Poucet
o Was an argument for materialism
If microbes (life) could be formed spontaneously, then the idea of special creation (idealism and
vitalism) could be argued against
Chapter 8 The Body Politic
Cell theory revolutionized conceptions of the individual
A plant or animal was no longer conceived of as a singular entity constructed out of cellular
tissue; it was a sum of vital units (cells) each of which had all attributes of life (Virchow)
Cells were viewed as elementary organisms
Cell state
There are various types of cells in plants and animals
Each is specialized for particular functions, and cells of the same type make up various tissues
and organs
o This specialization of cells allowed for the division of labour which enabled organisms to
become larger and more complex
However, in doing so, the cells became mutually dependent and could not exist without each
Eah ell leads a doule life “hleide
o One for its own development
o Another as an integrated part of an organism
Plants and animals were cellular states, a colony/society of cells where each cell is a citizen
Cell theory as a social theory
Sometimes portrayed as a description or prescription for our social world, about how to best
define the individual, and organize the state
An individual was to society what a cell was to an organism
o The division of labour is what organizes each
In 1859, Virchow defined the organism as a society of living cells, a tiny well-ordered state
consisting of living members of a common origin.
Haeckel compared cells to law-abiding citizens in an orderly state.
Similarly, the idea of the division of labour in cells translated to the division of labour in biology
Specialization into specific fields/aspects of biology became more important than trying to be a
master in all aspects of the life sciences
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