Person of Interest: Antony van Leeuwenhoek

Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) was a Dutch scientist and tradesman and the father of microbiology. Leeuwenhoek was unusual for his time. He was basically uneducated and spoke only Dutch. His father was a basket-maker and his mother from a family of brewers. He was a draper by trade where he used primitive simple microscopes in his work with fabrics.

Leeuwenhoek made some of the most important discoveries in the history of biology. Using microscopes that he himself handcrafted which could magnify up to 200x, he was the first to observe and describe bacteria, free-living and parasitic microscopic protists, sperm cells, blood cells, microscopic nematodes and more. These discoveries contributed significantly to the progress of modern medicine.

Scientifically yours, Rita Bay

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