History of Cell Biology


History of Cell Biology

History of Cell Biology

1 of 11


  • The naked eye can see up to just smaller than 1mm
  • Light microscopes can see from around 0.5cm to 100nm (including plant cells, human cells and bacteria)
  • Electron microscopes can see from around 0.5cm to 1A (including viruses, proteins and atoms)
  • Standard form is useful when using sizes and numbers of microorganisms
2 of 11

Types of Microorganisms

  • Bacteria
    • Study: Bacteriology
    • Organisms: Unicellular
  • Yeasts and Moulds
    • Study: Mycology
    • Organisms: Unicellular to multicellular
  • Protozoa
    • Study: Protozoology
    • Organisms: Unicellular
  • Viruses
    • Study: Virology
    • Organisms: Non-cellular
3 of 11

History and Microbiology

  • Spontaneous Generation Controversy
    • Aristotle (384-322): living organisms can develop from non-living materials
    • Organsims do not need a descendant
  • 1676: Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe microorganisms at 200x magnifaction: 'very little animacules in fresh water'
    • Approximate sizes: bacteria ~3um, viruses ~0.03um
  • 1861: Louis Pasteur's Swan-necked flasks
    • Proved that microorganisms do not arise by spontaneous generation
4 of 11

History and Microbiology

  • 1847: Ignaz Semmelweiss: Hungarian physician - doctors in Vienna hospitals spreading childbed fever while delivering babies. Forced doctors under his supervision to wash their hands before touching patients
  • 1857: Louis Pasteur proposed the 'germ theory' of disease
  • 1867: Joseph Lister introduced antiseptics in surgery
  • 1876: Rober Kock: German bacteriologist - cultivated anthrax bacteria outside the body using blood serum at body temperature
    • 'Koch's postulates' (1884): the critical test for the involvement of a microorganism in a disease
5 of 11

Koch's Postulates

  • The agent must be constantly present in every case of the disease but absent from healthy individuals
  • The agent must be isolated and cultured in vitro and away from the animal body
  • The disease must be reproduced when a pure culture of the agent is inoculated into a susceptible host
  • The same agent must be recoverable from the experimanetally infected host
6 of 11

Robert Koch

  • With Walter Hesse discovered solid culture media
  • Agar: Polysaccharide derived from red algae
  • 1882: Tuberculosis: isolation and staining of M.Tuberculosis bacteria and proof that this causes tuberculosis 
  • Discovery and isolation of Vibrio cholerae
  • 1887: Richard Petri - Petri dish
7 of 11


  • Edward Jenner (1798): Persons exposed to cows often developed a mild form of pox but then never got smallpox
    • spread cowpox by inoculating with material from pustules
    • found that this created immunity to smallpox
  • Louis Pasteur (1880): Immunised a chicken
    • Method of attenuating (weakening) a virulent pathogen, the agent of chicken cholera, so it would immunise and not cause disease
  • 1960: Oral polio vaccine approved in the USA: Albert Sabin
  • 1979: Smallpox vaccine officially eliminated smallpox
  • 2008: HPV vaccine introduced to the UK
8 of 11

Selected Virus History

  • Discovered much later than bacteria
  • One single physiochemical characteristic was measured - small size assessed by filterability - viruses are much smaller than bacteria
  • 1899: Reed and Caroll: Yellow fever virus: First demonstration that virus causes human disease
  • 1976: Bishop and Varmus: Identify same oncogenes in virus and animals (oncogene = cancer forming gene)
  • 1983: Luc Montadnier and Robert Gallo: Discovered HIV
9 of 11


  • Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778): Father of Taxonomy
    • Domain
    • Kingdom
    • Phylum
    • Class
    • Order
    • Family
    • Genus 
    • Species
  • Genus and species make up scientific name
10 of 11

Antibiotic Resistance

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today
  • Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelarating the process
  • A growing number of infection, e.g. pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and salmonella, are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality
11 of 11


No comments have yet been made

Similar Pharmacy resources:

See all Pharmacy resources »See all PH1123 resources »