April 5 – Happy Birthday, Matthias Jakob Schleiden

Posted on April 5, 2015

Chemists had struggled to figure out what made different materials behave differently, and wondered if matter was made up of discrete particles. Finally, in the early 1800s, chemist John Dalton made some experimental discoveries that resulted in the modern theory of matter being made up of atoms.

As Dalton later said, “Chemistry began then to assume a new appearance."

Today's famous birthday did a similar service for the field of biology. Born on this date in Germany, in 1804, Matthias Schleiden studied plants. His botanical studies particularly concentrated on observing plant parts under the microscope. Schleiden wrote that all the different parts of a plant are composed of discrete cells.

Schleiden is credited as being the co-founder of the cell theory, because Theodor Schwann wrote about animals tissues being made up of cells.

Cells are now known as the building block of life, the basic structural unit of all living things.

Celebrate Schleiden by learning about cells!

Also on this date:

More Easter

Anniversary of the eruption of Tambora 

Writer, leader, and educator Booker T. Washington's birthday

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