Navigation Links
Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Anton van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632 - August 26, 1723) was a tradesman and scientist from Delft, in the Netherlands. He is best known for his contribution to improvement of the microscope and his contributions towards the establishment of cell biology. Using his handcrafted microscope he was the first to observe and describe muscle fibres, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels).

His name at birth was Thonis Philipszoon. His letters were signed Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. He was probably known as van Leeuwenhoek from a young age because he was born in a house at the corner of Lion's Gate in Delft. Van Leeuwenhoek translates as "from lion's corner".

Van Leeuwenhoek ground over 500 optical lenses during his lifetime. His microscope was used and improved by Christiaan Huygens for his own investigations into microscopy. He was introduced to microscopy by Huygens to observe the quality of the fabrics that he sold. From there, he grew an insatiable interest for the field. He spent his nights studying everything he could and carefully noted his observations. Unfortunately, he only spoke Dutch while the scientific language of the time was Latin. He wrote to Robert Hooke who knew both Dutch and Latin, and Hooke instantly realized the quality and pertinence of Leeuwenhoek's work. Their correspondence was translated by Hooke into Latin and published in the proceedings of the Royal Society.

"No more pleasant sight has met my eye than this of so many thousands of living creatures in one small drop of water..." - Stated after his discovery of the microscopic world over three centuries ago.

He is thought by some to have been the model for Vermeer's painting The Geographer (Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-am-Main). Vermeer and van Leeuwenhoek were baptised the same month, in the same church. After Vermeer died, van Leeuwenhoek was appointed curator for the financial affairs of Vermeer's widow. This has led some people to believe that the two must have been friends, even though acting as a curator was part of van Leeuwenhoek's job as a chamberlain of Delft.

Van Leeuwenhoek appeared on an unused design for a 10 guilder note done by M.C. Escher in 1951.

The Dutch Royal Academy presents (every 10 years) the Leeuwenhoek medal to the scientist judged to have made the decade's most significant finding in microbiology. This is regarded by microbiologists as the highest honor in their field.

External links


(Date:9/2/2014)... the September issue of The FASEB Journal ... to diagnose the leading cause of blindness in ... occurred. This advance involves quantifying the early molecular ... retinal vessels. Using new probes developed by scientists, ... development of diabetic retinopathy. , "My goal is ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... Washington D.C., September 2, 2014 A study ... Journal of the American Academy of Child ... adolescents diagnosed with a psychiatric diagnosis had an ... exposed to antipsychotics. , Using data from the ... by Dr. Ren Ernst Nielsen, Psychiatry, Aalborg University ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... Konservat-Lagersttte of lithographic limestone is well known as ... from that area (for example, Archaeopteryx). Now, for ... in the French equivalent of these outcrops - ... oldest known water treader. , Despite the abundance ... fossils have been obtained from the Late Kimmeridgian ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Molecular probes permit doctors to detect diabetic retinopathy before vision fails 2Risk of diabetes in children and adolescents exposed to antipsychotics 2Exceptionally well preserved insect fossils from the Rhône Valley 2
... provide the next generation of human therapeutic drugs. , ... by Queensland University of Technology PhD researcher Liam St ... and major trauma. , The genetic code for the ... researcher Liam St Pierre from QUT's School of Life ...
... of the brain when small stones are scattered on the ... researchers at UC Davis. The brains of those young fish ... and the fish also showed behavior closer to wild than ... hatchery and the wild fish," said graduate student Rebecca Kihslinger, ...
... the bilateral body axes in animals as diverse as flies ... in patterning an animal with a different body plan--a simple ... jellyfish, are members of the phylum Cnidaria, and they possess ... bilateral body plan exhibited by vertebrates and many other animals. ...
Cached Biology News:Taipan venom no snake oil 2How to grow a bigger brain 2Anemone genes reveal versatile building blocks for body plans 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags