Cell theory was an explanation somewhat late, as it appeared in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Its creators were Schleiden and Schwann, German scientists who presented the cellular concept after a long debate in which you attempted to give a convincing explanation about the origin of life. These two biologists realized a significant fact: in plant cells and animals appeared a kernel with identical characteristics. This discovery meant finding a link between all living beings.
The road to a new theoryCell theory replaced a previous concept: the theory of spontaneous generation, according to which life spontaneously generated from things that were not alive. It should be remembered that the understanding of single cell was possible since the introduction of the microscope (was English Robert Hooke who discovered the first cells in the century XVll observing Cork).
Subsequently, Dutch biologist Leeuwenhoke observed under the microscope red, white blood cells and spermatozoa (sperm observation meant that reproduction of mammals could already be explained). Investigations of Hooke and Leeuwenhoek facilitated the innovative approach of Schleiden and Schwann. Years later, Robert Virchow presented a series of tests to establish cell theory and definitely banish the theory of spontaneous generation.
Main features of the cell theoryThe cell is a tiny living being representing life. Cell theory has three fundamental principles:
1) the cell is the structural of any form of life unit,
(2) the cell is the functional and physiological unity of life (there is a metabolism inside that determines its further development) and
(3) the cell is the unit of origin of what we mean by life.
The implications of cell theory go beyond the simple explanation of structural cells in its classical division between eukaryotes and prokaryotes, cell theory was a definitive step towards the understanding of the chromosomes and the mechanisms of inheritance and had repercussions in Botany, in zoology, in the evolution of the species and , in short, in all the disciplines that make up biology.
Cell theory allows, in a few words, explain and understand the most relevant aspect of the universe: life itself.
Article contributed by the team of collaborators.