Seeing the Invisible: van Leeuwenhoek's first glimpses of the microbial world


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In 1674, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked at a drop of lake water through his homemade microscope and discovered an invisible world that no one knew existed. His work inspired countless microbiology researchers, including HHMI investigator Bonnie Bassler, one of the narrators of this animated feature. Leeuwenhoek was a haberdasher and city official in Delf, The Netherlands.He started making simple microscopes and using them to observe the world around him. He was the first to discover bacteria, protists, sperm cells, blood cells, rotifers, and much more.

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  1. One of the optical devices some historians believe Drebbel invented when he was working for the Duke of Buckingham was the compound microscope. The device appeared in Europe around 1620 with the earliest account being Dutch ambassador Willem Boreel's 1619 visit to London where he saw a compound microscope in Drebbel's possession, described as an instrument about eighteen inches long, two inches in diameter, and supported on 3 brass dolphins. In 1621 Drebbel had a compound microscope with two convex lenses. Several of his contemporaries, including Christiaan Huygens, credited the invention of the compound microscope to Drebbel. Drebbel was born in Alkmaar in the Dutch republic and died in 1633. He also invented the submarine.

  2. It's funny that the comment in the video was driven by our ignorance when fact is you're driven by your ignorance to not glorify the God of all creation and he will lock the door to your Innovation and Discovery if you do not praise and glorify him as the almighty creator

  3. Thank God I stumbled on this video beautifully executed…I keep watching it and feel as though am part of it. Something about this video that is extraordinarily can’t explain it touches your soul .

  4. Alguém teria este vídeo legendado em português???? Ou saberia onde posso encontrar as legendas para download

  5. Can someone tell me the two bacteria species they talked about in here? I could only find vibrio Harveyi. I searched all of the ones shown in the vid but none of them were bacteria


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