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History of Biology: The 17th Century

Information and resources available at the Linda Hall Library about the history of biology.


The seventeenth century saw the emergence of the experimental science of nature, made possible by the invention and development of unique technological innovations. The optical microscope, for instance, greatly expanded the realm of the observable in the organic world. Through the use of this instrument the cellular nature of living tissues and the existence of microorganisms came to light near the closing of the century.

by Eliseo Fernandez

Take a look at our online exhibit Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679-1859.