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:7/29/2014)... the remote UK overseas territory of Ascension Island, one ... something of a renaissance. , Writing in the journal ... of Exeter and Ascension Island Government Conservation Department report ... remote South Atlantic outpost has increased by more than ... As many as 24,000 nests are now estimated to ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... (UM SOD) and Medicine (UM SOM) jointly announced ... million grant award from the National Institute of ... Institutes of Health to study the causes, prevention ... which renews a previous $12 million five-year NIAID-funded ... research by studying chlamydial and gonorrheal diseases as ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... of preterm babies latest research from the University ... teenagers, the brains of many preterm children can perform almost ... conducted by the University,s Robinson Research Institute has ... brain injury in early life, their cognitive abilities as a ... , However, the results of the study, published in this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Major turtle nesting beaches protected in 1 of the UK's far flung overseas territories 2University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine receive NIH grant 2University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine receive NIH grant 3University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine receive NIH grant 4Preterm children's brains can catch up years later 2
... 18, 2014)-- Baylor University researchers, in collaboration with ... evidence of the environment inhabited by the early ... Island, Kenya. The groundbreaking discovery provides additional information ... connection between habitat preferences and the early diversification ...
... Glorioso, III, PhD (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, ... herpes viruses as efficient vectors for delivering therapeutic genes ... accomplishments, he has received a Pioneer Award from ... Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Human Gene Therapy ...
... lifelong debate of nature versus nurture continuesthis time in ... the Journal of Communication found that a ... children who engaged in increased viewing of violent TV ... Helen Vossen, and Patti Valkenburg of the University of ...
Cached Biology News:Discovery by Baylor University researchers sheds new light on the habitat of early apes 2Discovery by Baylor University researchers sheds new light on the habitat of early apes 3Joseph Glorioso, Ph.D., receives Pioneer Award 2Genetics linked to children viewing high amounts of violent media 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags