Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Discovery of the Cell By: Blake Werab

I. Introduction

The cell is the major component to a human which consists of trillions of cells. The cell cannot be seen by the human eye which means we can only see cells through a microscope. The cell is built up of many parts including: a membrane, nucleus, cytoskeleton, mitochondrians, etc. All of these things are called organelles which carry on specific functions to keep the cell alive. Without these organelles cells would not be alive which means neither would humans. In this project I will tell you who founded the cell and how and how it affected today's life.
Figure 1:

II. Discovery
The cell was discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665 while he was looking at alot of different organisms in his microscope, one being a piece of cork. Hooke noticed something odd of this piece of cork and it was that there were tiny empty spaces that looked like the cells in a monastery which is where he got the trem "cell". He then published this discovery in his famous book Micrographia. Later on, scientist started to compare differences of cells which are two classes: eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells. The difference is that eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus while prokayotic cells do not. This discovery by Robert Hooke led to many more interesting findings of the things called "cells".
Figure 2:
(cork cells)

III. Biography of the Founder
The cell was founded in 1665 by a man named Robert Hooke who was at the time studying the subjects of astronomy, biology, and physics at Oxford. Before this time, little Robert Hooke was a boy with a pretty bad childhood. Robert was boorn on July 18, 1635. His family includes his father John, his mother Cicely, his older sister Katherine, and finally his older brother John. Robert was a child of very bad health and his parents suspected he would not make it through childhood. And to add onto the bad luck, Robert's father died when he was 13 years old. Shortly after his father death, Robert was influenced in painting by John Hoskyns. He followed John H. and copied many of his fantastic paintings. Shortly later, he was then sent to London to be an apprentince of the famous painter Sir Peter Lely. In London, Robert found out that the smell of the oil pants agrivated his headaches and that is why he gave up on painting. During his studies at Oxford, Robert was influenced by a man named John Wilkins who was a scientist/politician. Thanks to the help of John W., Robert became an assistant of Dr. Thomas Willis in which Robert had to prepare the chemicals for him. Dr. Willis later introduced Robert to another famous scientist, Robert Boyle who is famous for Boyle's Law. In 1665, Robert Hooke published his very well-known book Micrographia. In his study of astronomy, in 1664 he discovered the rotation of Jupiter by looking at it through a telescope as a spot on Jupiter moved east to west in a matter of two hours. He then published this in the Micrographia. In this book, Hooke describes all of his organism findings includind when he first found cells in a piece of a cork and he wrote and drew about this and his many others. He later died on March 3, 1703.
Figure 3:

IV. Impact on World/Humanity
The discovery made by Robert Hooke opened up many doors to scientific discoveries in today's life. Scientists would observe many different organisms and they would find differences in these organisms and put them in a specific class. The two main classes of cells are eukaryotic or prokaryotic. Like I said above eukaryotic cells have a membrane-bound nucleus while prokayotic cells do not. Two examples of doors opening are of Theodor Schwann and Matthias Jakob Schleiden. Schwann and Schleiden looked deeper into the differences of cells in different organisms. Schwann observed the animal cell and how it had different cell organelles and structure of other organisms. Schleiden observed the cells of plants and how the have cell walls and different organelles of other organisms. These are just two examples of the many that were opened by Hooke. It's amazing how a little peek at a piece of cork can evolutionize our knowledge of our own structure and of other organisms.

V. Journal Article Review
This article was a very incisive and helpful article of Robert Hooke and his life. I found it extremely helpful when I was writing on Hooke's early life, and it even had the most specific details. At one point it got off a little to specific but in the end it made the big picture pretty clear. Without this article, my biography of Hooke would have been alot shorter and alot less in quality.

VI. Video: The Cell

VII. References:
1) Chico, Tita (2006). "Minute Particulars: Microscopy and Eighteenth-Century Narrative". University of Manitoba. Copyright (2006).

2) Tan Drake, Ellen. "Restless Genius: Robert Hooke and His Earthly Thoughts".
Oxford University Press. Copyright (1996).

3) "Robert Hooke." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 12 Dec. 2010

4) "Robert Hooke and His Microscope" (2002).

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