History of Cells (main dates)


Robert Hooke


Hooke described cells within a cork. He named the micropscopic foundings cellula, meaning 'small room'. Hooke also printed his own book.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Approx. 1674

Leeuwenhoek discovered protozoa and bacteria. He read Hooke's book and become interested in what he could see through a microscrope. To discover bacteria, he looked at old men who had never ever cleaned their teeth.

Matthian Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann


Schleiden discovered that cells were the basic units of all plants and they grow by producing new cells. Schwann discovered that within animals tissue, there are cells as well.

Rudolph Virchow


Virchow disbelieved the theory that cells are just automatically produced. Instead, he discovered that cells are actually made from other, smaller cells. This was because of his access to better microscopes than the people before him.

Bodo von Borries


Borries from the company Siemens, helped to produce the first commercial transmission electron microscope. He also produced 35 other apparatuses to be used later for more research.

21st century scientists


Scientists discovered how to reprogram skin cells into stem cells. This is a recent discovery and has been seen as a scientific breakthrough.