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The Fundamental Unit of Life

Cell:  It is the smallest unit of life capable of performing all living functions.

Properties of cell

  • The Cell is the smallest living unit of life.

  • It is so small that it is not visible to the naked eye.

  • The shape of the cell varies in different organisms and within an organism.

  • Size of cells also differs.

  • All living cells exhibit certain basic properties like respiration, growth, metabolism etc.

  • Cells originate from a pre-existing cell. A mother cell divides to produce daughter cells. Hence, cells exhibit cell division.

Milestones in Cell Biology


Major contributions

Robert Hooke

Discovered cell


Discovered microscope

Robert Brown



Coined term protoplasm

Schleiden and Schw…

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