Science of Aging  

Timeline of Cell Discoveries

Cells are the battle ground for defending our health and fighting aging. They are the places where viruses attack, and where pharmacueticals act. Here is a timeline describing how cells came to be known, how they function, and what possibilities they hold. (See the Simple Version)


-1600s
The current theory of how living organisms form is explained by Spontaneous Generation.
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-1653
Robert C. Hooke discovers the cell
How: Looked at a thin slice of cork through a microscope at 50x
Funding: King Charles II
Technology: Microscope
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-1682
Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek sees blood cells and describes the cell nucleus
How: Observed fish blood cells with a microscope at 250x
Funding: The Royal Society
Technology: Microscope
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-1700s
Luigi Galvani, Kaspar Friedrich Wolff, and others find more evidence that the human body is full of cells
Technology: Microscope


-1766
Abraham Trembley observed bacteria replicate by dividing in a process known as binary fission
How: Developed methods to keep bacteria alive and observed them under a microscope
Funding: The Royal Society
Technology: Microscope


-1800s
Questions which persist:
1.How are cells formed?
2.How do cell communicate if at all?
3.What do cells contain?
4.Were all tissues composed of cells?



-1820s
François-Vincent Raspail Proposed that all cells form from other cells
Technology: Microscope


-1831
Robert Brown names the cell nucleus and suggests its importance in fertilization
How: By looking at cells of Asclepiads and orchids through a microscope
Funding: The British Museum
Technology: Microscope
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-1839
Theodor Schwann proposes that all living things are entirely made of cells
How: Drawing upon published information
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-1855
Robert Remak develops a method to isolate the cell membrane and proves it divides a cell
How: By creating a chemical hardening agent which allowed him to observe how the membrane divided the cell
Funding: Self-Funded
Technology: Chemical hardening agent
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-1858
Rudolf Virchow endorses cell division and its role in pathology
How: Drawing upon published information
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-1898
Camillo Golgi discovers the Golgi apparatus
How: Golgi invented a method of staining by hardening nervous cells in potassium bichromate and then impregnating the sample with silver nitrate. The resultant reaction, known as the black reaction allowed him to see the Golgi apparatus under the microscope.
Technology: Microscope
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