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Famous Biologists
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Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Fleming
Albert Bandura
Claude Bernard
Alfred Binet
Franz Boas
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Max Born
Louis de Broglie
Noam Chomsky
Nicolaus Copernicus
Francis Crick
Marie Curie
John Dalton
Charles Darwin
Rene Descartes
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Leonhard Euler
Michael Faraday
Benjamin Franklin
Sigmund Freud
Galileo Galilei
Jane Goodall
Stephen Hawking
Heinrich Hertz
Edwin Hubble
Christiaan Huygens
Edward Jenner
Johannes Kepler
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier
Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Kurt Lewin
Charles Lyell
James Clerk Maxwell
Isaac Newton

Jean Piaget
Louis Pasteur
Linus Pauling
Ivan Pavlov
Max Planck
Ernest Rutherford
Jonas Salk
Erwin Schrodinger
B. F. Skinner
Nikola Tesla
Joseph J. Thomson
Alan Turing
Alessandro Volta
John B. Watson
Wilhelm Wundt





Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Anton van Leeuwenhoek is known by many as the "Father of Microbiology" because of his involvement and invention of lenses for microscopes. His knowledge of glasswork lead to the finding of how to forge tiny microscopic lenses from tiny whiskers of glass. His knowledge and findings were shared freely throughout his life to the scientific community and especially the "English Royal Society."

Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Microbiology's main focus is the study of microorganisms and usually includes a closer look at Immunology or the study of the human immune system. In order to conduct such research, high power lenses and microscopes are required to clearly see these microscopic items of interest to improve life through knowledge, prevention, and cures.

Born in the year 1632 of the beautiful countryside of Delft, Netherlands - the Dutch microbiologist Anton van Leeuwenhoek was able to take the first look at microscopic organisms. He went on to discover protozoa and provide the world with a description of red blood cells.

Four Pillars of Leeuwenhoek

Because of the astute work of Anton, the world has many of today's technological marvels and medical cures. Out of everything, there are four insights/studies that Anton provided us, that I have dubbed as the four pillars of Leeuwenhoek, which stand out as monumental for the time:

1. Infusoria: discovered in 1674 - a unicellular algae
2. Bacteria: discovered in 1676 - a single celled microorganism
3. Spermatozoa: discovered in 1677 - a sperm cell
4. Muscular Fibers: discovered in 1682 - first glimpsed at the "banded pattern" of muscular fibrous tissues

Over his lifetime, Leeuwenhoek developed more than 500 optical lenses and roughly around 250 microscopes - today, only 9 of his microscopes exist. The most powerful microscope from his arsenal could magnify items up to 500 times. It is interesting to note that he was regarded as an amateur in his day even though his work was of considerable caliber.

Leeuwenhoek's methods for fabricating intense microscope lenses was hailed as a break through, paving the way for the modern world. However, his studies on single celled organisms, sperm cells, and more led to intense criticism, and doubt as it was a new foreign concept. Eventually, his works were published and fully recognized by the Royal Society of London.

Leeuwenhoek took his knowledge of his powerful lenses to the grave with him until 1957, when another scientist was able to fabricate a replica after years of study and research. The common practice of creating lenses was to polish the glass back in the 17th and 18th century, however, Leeuwenhoek's secret was to fuse thin glass threads together which created his unique and powerfully clear lenses.

In conclusion, microbiologists of the world rely upon the initial findings and inventions of Anton van Leeuwenhoek from several hundred years ago (Leeuwenhoek died in 1723 at age 90 and was buried in his hometown of Delft, Netherlands). Today, we possess the technology to look deeper than Anton van Leeuwenhoek could ever imagine and this has led to the discoveries of dozens of cures and preventative measures that protect us today on a daily basis.

Rumor Has It

Anton van Leeuwenhoek one morning after a night drinking looked into one of his most powerful microscopes and discovered a never before seen organism that looked like a cross between a ninja zombie and Larry the Cable Guy.

Written by Kevin Lepton