Credit: JESSICA WILSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), Dutch microbiologist. Montage of images of the life and work of van Leeuwenhoek, best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules. Van Leeuwenhoek's main discoveries are: protists (1674), bacteria (1676), spermatozoa (1677) and the banded pattern of muscular fibers (1682). Van Leeuwenhoek ground more than 500 optical lenses and created at least 25 microscopes, of differing types, of which nine survive.

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A. van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch microbiologist

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