A brief summary on who these scientists are and what they did.
Born in Hamburg, Germany on April 5, 1804, Matthias Jakob Schleiden was a German botanist who was instrumental to the discovery of the cell. Even though he had first practiced law at Hamburg, he wasn’t very successful and decided to study plant structure with microscopes. He then became a professor of botany at the University of Jena, and wrote a book, Contributions to Phytogenesis, where he stated that the different parts of a plant organism are composed of cells. He also recognized that the cell nucleus is connected with cell division. In 1839, He and Theodor Schwann created the cell theory which states that all living things are made up of one or more cells. They also discovered that plant cells and animal cells have nuclei.
Theodor Schwann was a German physiocologist who examined animal tissue with a microscope. In the animal tissue, he found nuclear structure similar to the ones Schleiden had discovered in plants. He extended Schleiden’s theory on plants to animals also. Doing this, he stated that all living things are composed of cells. Among his other discoveries were the digestive enzyme pepsin, showed that yeast were tiny plant-like organisms, and suggested from this observation that fermentation was a biological process.
Rudolf Virchow was born in Schivelbein, Pomeranian, Prussia on October 13, 1821. He studied at the Friederich Wilheim to become a physician and afterward at the Institute and at the University of Berlin to become a medical doctor. He is recognized as the founder of cellular pathology because of his discovery that disease is created and reproduced at the cellular level of the body. Some of his other accomplishments were his contribution to the development of Anthropology, his founding of the German Anthropology Society, and his technique to perform autopsies.
Robert Brown was a Scottish botanists and plant geographer born on December 21, 1773 in Montrose, Angus, Scotland. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University but knew that his true interest was in botany, not medicine. In 1831, he noticed that the small, dense, round body in cells and named the structure the nucleus. He found that the nucleus was a constant component of all plant cells. However, the major role of the nucleus in cell function was not yet discovered.
Felix Dujardin was a French biologist born on April 5, 1801, on Tours, France. After studying microscopic animal life, on 1834, he found that many living microorganisms are composed of one cell, and he called them Rhizopoda. Later, he also identified that protoplasm on all living cells was similar. With this, he argued against Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg who had a theory stating that microscopic organisms have the same organs as any other animal.
Henri Dutrochet was a French physician and botanist who was born on November 14, 1776. Dutrochet found the connection between plant and animals cells. He also proposed the idea that the cells were not only a structural unit but also a physiological unit. Also, he said that cells were the “basic unit of the organized state” and that everything comes from the cell. Dutrochet stated that new cells arise from within old ones; however, his proposed way of how cells are generated was incorrect.
Born on 1635, Robert Hooke was a self-taught English scientist who discovered the building blocks of all life. While viewing a cork through a microscope, he found empty spaces contained by walls; he called them cells because he believed they resembled the little rooms, or cells, in a monastery. He calculated that there were 1,259,712,0002 cells in a cubic inch and wrote a book called Micrographia where he wrote about his discovery of cells, among many other topics. However, the cells seen by Hooke were nonliving, and he didn’t attempt to study the structure or function of living cells.