Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s ground-breaking early work on microscopy and observations of single-celled organisms has him fondly referred to as the ‘Father of Microbiology’. A talented lens-maker and passionate naturalist, Leeuwenhoek pioneered the process of identifying microscopic organisms under his own hand-crafted microscopes. He referred to his findings as animaluculs. This paved the way for theorists like Robert Hooke to define what a cell was and formulate the initial properties of living things. Contemporary techniques in almost all fields of biology including, but not limited to, molecular and cellular biology, cell culture, tissue engineering and medical imaging have their roots in the work of Leeuwenhoek. His technique and findings were validated by the British Royal Society in 1677 marking a significant moment in science, and a turn towards newly available methods for studying the natural world.
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