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Explain how the advance in technology allowed the progressive accumulation of knowledge and understanding of the cell theory The technological advancements, in the scientific field, have opened opportunities for scientists to accumulate knowledge and understanding of the cell theory and have thus provided justification to the living organisms that exist. Notably, prior to the proposal of the cell theory, limited knowledge and understanding of what humans comprised of was evident and thus the theory of spontaneous generation was brought forth.
This theory, which has been disproved by Virchow in 1855, suggests that living matter arouses spontaneously from non-living matter. As a consequence of limited technology, many people believed this theory as technological inventions like the light compound microscope, which showed life, were non-existent at the time. Evidently, in 1665, Robert Hooke, an English scientist, invented his own compound microscope and observed the cellular nature of the cork.
The topic of cells was brought forth and from this moment, in 1674 Leeuwenhoek viewed microscope ‘ animalcules’ and in 1838, Schleiden and Schwann produced the cell theory, stating that all living things are made of cells and cells are the basic unit of organisms. Moreover, the technological introduction of stains were developed and assisted scientists to efficiently see cells and their internal structures.
This staining technique, as a result of technology, created a contrast between the transparent material and its background, presenting a clear image of the cell. Therefore, through the technology advancement in staining techniques, the processes of the cells and nuclear division of the cell were visible. Significantly, towards the end of the 19th century, compound light microscopes had been developed to a point where the resolving power of microscopes was diminishing, with difficulty in separating objects.
The next scientific breakthrough was evident as a result of the invention of the electron microscope, in 1933, which had a magnification of up to one million times and can show detailed images of internal structures. Thus, the accumulation of knowledge of the cell theory being radical, present the idea that the advancement of technology has had a tremendous impact on the cell theory.