- from Cells
In 1664, English scientist Robert Hooke viewed a thin slice of cork through an early microscope. It appeared to him to be constructed of dozens of tiny rectangular compartments.
He called these compartments cells, inspired by the Latin word cella, which means “small room.”
At first, scientists couldn’t see much within individual cells, so they thought each cell was just filled with a jelly. They called that jelly protoplasm. But as microscopes improved, their views slowly changed, and now we know that each cell is really a complex part of life.