Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was the first person to describe and name the ‘cells’ that make up living organisms. He drew the empty plant cells, shown above, from thin sections of cork. Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) used a simple microscope to examine the tiny ‘animicules’ scraped from his teeth.
The cell theory states that:
1. All living things consist of cells or their products
2. Cells are the basic functional unit of life
3. New cells are produced from existing cells.