MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: Why do they call it a cell?

Date: Tue Sep 20 21:37:09 2005
Posted By: Sean Hunt, Secondary School Teacher
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1127239340.Cb

Dear Stephanie, The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms sometimes called the "building blocks of life." Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell. Other organisms, such as humans, are multicellular, (humans have an estimated 100,000 billion = 1014 cells). The cell theory states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells; In 1665 the British Scientist Robert Hooke (see Hooke’s Law) coined the biological term cell -- so called because his observations of plant cells reminded him of monks' cells. The word cell comes from the Latin cella, a small room. The name was chosen by Robert Hooke because of the likeness he saw between cork cells and small rooms. (not unlike a jail cell!!) Best wishes Sean Hunt (Information above came from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

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