Aristotle was credited for having the first scientific theories regarding cells and cell reproduction. (wiki)
His first theory, is called Preformation. Preformation is the idea that sperm or another cell is a miniature version of the animal in question and will grow into said animal when properly stimulated.
His second theory is called Epigenisis. Epigenisis is the idea that animals evolved from similar parts of other animals. Like an ostrich's neck from a giraffe. Or a trout from a whale.
Period: 384 BCE to
Cell Theory and Microscopes
Hans and Zacharius Janssen
Zacharias Janssen was a Dutch man who manufactured glasses. He is credited for creating the first truly compound microscope.
(wikipedia) Hans Janssen was Zacharias' father and possibly had the occupation of a peddler.
Francesco Redi was the first person to successfully refute Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation by showing that when he left rotting meat in several containers, some covered and some not, maggots only appeared in the uncovered containers.
Robert Hooke changed our view and understanding of cells and cell theory as we know it. According to record, Hooke was the first person to acually view cells under a microscope
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is commonly known as the father of microbiology and rightfully so. He made more than 500 optical lenses and at least 25 microscopes. He also discovered;
-the infusoria, in 1674
-the bacteria in the human mouth
-the vacuole of the cell
-the spermatozoa in 1677
-the banded pattern of muscular fibers, in 1682
John Needham was an English Biologist and Catholic priest who attempted to experiment with Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation. He experimented with gravy and when he saw that mold spores had begun to appear after a few days, seemingly out of nowhere, he believed spontaneous generation to be correct. His theories and experimwnts were later dissproved
Lazzaro Spallanzani was an Italian Biologist who ultimately disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by showing that the microbe could be destroyed by an hour of boiling and that it would not reappear if the container was sufficiently sealed
Robert Brown was a Scottish Botanist who used microscopes to discover what is now called Brownian Motion. Brownian motion was discovered when he looked at pollen particles under a microscope and saw that they moved in a jittery motion. His theory has been the topic over controversy in recent years.
Theodor Schwann was a German physiologist who observed animal cells under a microscope and noted their different properties. While doing this he discovered the cells that enclose the nerves, now called Schwann cells in his honour
Matthias Jakob Schleiden
Matthias Jakob Schleiden was a German botanist and the co-founder of cell theory. He discovered through a microscope that embryonic plant organisms arise from only one cell. He was also one of the first German botanists to accept Darwin's theory of evolution
Louis Pasteur was a french chemist and microbiologist who also further contributed to the disproving of Aristotle's spontaneous generation theory by proving through similar experiments from the past. He showed that it was impossible for a microbe to be present and grow in a completely sterile environment.
X-ray crystallography is used to u\identify the molecular structure of a crystal. It shines x-ray beams onto the vrystal which causes them to bounce off in all directions, mapping its structure. This was discovered by William Lawrence Bragg in 1912
An electron microscope uses a beam of electrons as a light source and can magnify up to 2,000,000 times where a normal microscope can go below 2000. The first prototype was built by Ernst Ruska, a German physicist, and could magnify up tp 400x
Confocal microscopy is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution by means of adding a spatial pinhole to the microscope. This idea was developed by Marvin Minsky in 1957
Cell staining is used for increasing contrast through changing the color of some of the parts of the cell being observed, allowing for a clearer view. I couldn't fond any information on the history of this practice