What is the origin of the term “cell”?

The term “cell” was first used by Robert Hooke, an English scientist who described cells he observed in a slice of cork in 1665. Using a microscope that magnified 30 times, Hooke identified little chambers or compartments in the cork that he called cellulae, a Latin term meaning “little rooms” because they reminded him of the cells inhabited by monks. It is from this word that we got the modern term “cell.” He calculated that one square inch of cork would contain 1,259,712,000 of these tiny chambers or cells!


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