Father of Microbiology

Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek

Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek was born on 24th October 1632. He was a Dutch businessman. He is also a scientist in the Golden age of Dutch Science. He is the only self-taught man in science and is regarded as the father of microbiology.

 Philips was the first microbiologist and microscopist. He was best known for his intensive work in microscopy and for his contributions towards the microbiology as a scientific discipline. He worked as draper in his youth and founded his own shop in 1654. In municipal politics, he became most recognized and developed an interest in lens making. He started to explore microbiological life with his microscope in 1670's.

Philip designed his own single lensed microscope. He was the first person to experiment with microbes. He was originally referred to as animalcules. From the experiments he made, he was the first person to determine the size. Most of the animalcules he identified are now referred to as unicellular organisms.

Philips also observed multicellular organisms in pond water. He also documented on microscopic observations as follows :

  • muscle fibers
  • bacteria
  • spermatozoa
  • red blood cells
  • crystals in goutitophy
  • blood flow in capillaries

Although Philip did not write any books, because of his correspondence with the Royal Society made his works and discoveries to come into light. His letters were published by the Royal society. He influenced the history of biology, life sciences, natural history, a scientific revolution, and age of reason.

Robert Hook and Regnier de Graaf are the people who got inspired by his works and inventions. From childhood, he was baptized as Thonis. His father was a basket maker who died when Philip was at the age of five. His mother came from a well-to-do brewer's family. He attended schooling in Varamond. Finally, after all his inventions and great works he died on 26th August 1723 at the age of 90 years.

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms that exist in our atmosphere. Usually, these microorganisms can be divided as a unicellular, multicellular, and acellular. Unicellular is a microorganism with a single cell in it whereas multicellular contains multiple cells inside it. Acellular is a microorganism with no cells.

In Microbiology, there are many sub-branches like virology, parasitology, mycology, and bacteriology. Let us study about Eukaryotic membranes. These are also microorganisms which possess membrane bound-cells and also include fungi and protists. Prokaryotic membranes are the ones which are conventionally classified as lacking membrane bound organisms which include bacteria and archaea. 

 






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