Friday, September 17th, 2010

The cell is the smallest, functional unit of life classified as a living thing. The human body, for example, contains more than 100 trillion, or 10^14 cells, with an average size of 10 micrometers and mass of 1 nanogram. But how did the word ‘cell’ come to be? Howard Markel, a a physician, medical educator, and historian of medicine at the University of Michigan, explains:

Given their tiny size, it is hardly surprising that a magnifying mechanism, in the form of a microscope, was required to identify these critical structures….

Read more and listen to the episode