The Englishman Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was the first person to discover a cell. Hooke was a top tier experimental scientist of his day, with interests in physics, architecture, and chemistry, along with biology. Published in 1665, his book Micrographia, contains his “Observation XVIII,” his examination of thin cork slices with a microscope. The porous, perforated, honey-comb-like structures he saw were the cell walls of the cork tissue. He dubbed them “cells” because he thought they resembled the cells of a monastery.
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