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Endothelial Cells
Public Domain/NIH

Cell biology is the subdiscipline of biology that studies the basic unit of life, the cell. It deals with all aspects of the cell including cell anatomy, cell division (mitosis and meiosis) and cell processes such as cell respiration and cell death.

There have been several significant events throughout history that have led to the development of the field of cell biology as it exists today. Some of these events include:

  • 1655 - Robert Hooke gives first description of a cork tree cell.
  • 1683 - Leeuwenhoek views bacteria.
  • 1857 - Kolliker describes mitochondria.
  • 1953 - Watson and Crick propose structure of DNA double-helix.
  • 1997 - First sheep is cloned.

These discoveries in cell biology would not have been possible without the invention of the microscope. With the advanced microscopes of today such as the Scanning Electron Microscope and Transmission Electron Microscope, cell biologists are able to obtain detailed images of the smallest of cell structures.

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