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Animalcule ('little animal', from Latin animal + the diminutive suffix -culum) is an old term for a microscopic organisms that included bacteria, protozoans, and very small animals. The word was invented by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek to refer to the microorganisms he observed in rainwater.
Some better-known types of animalcule include:
The concept seems to have been proposed at least as early as about 30 BC, as evidenced by this translation from Marcus Varro's Rerum Rusticarum Libri Tres:
The term was also used during the 17th century by Henry Oldenburg, the first Secretary of the Royal Society and founding editor of Philosophical Transactions , to translate the Dutch words used by Anton van Leeuwenhoek to describe microorganisms that he discovered.
In Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado , the word appears in adjectival form in the 'Major-General's Song', in which Major-General Stanley sings, 'I know the scientific names of beings animalculous...'
A 1795 illustration of van Leeuwenhoek's animalcules by an unknown artist.
A microorganism, or microbe, is a microscopic organism, which may exist in its single-celled form or in a colony of cells.
Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch businessman and scientist in the Golden Age of Dutch science and technology. A largely self-taught man in science, he is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology", and one of the first microscopists and microbiologists. Van Leeuwenhoek is best known for his pioneering work in microscopy and for his contributions toward the establishment of microbiology as a scientific discipline.
Significant events in biology and organic chemistry:
An anaerobic organism or anaerobe is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth. It may react negatively or even die if free oxygen is present. In contrast, an aerobic organism (aerobe) is an organism that requires an oxygenated environment. Anaerobes may be unicellular or multicellular.
In biology, cell theory is the historic scientific theory, now universally accepted, that living organisms are made up of cells, that they are the basic structural/organizational unit of all organisms, and that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Cells are the basic unit of structure in all organisms and also the basic unit of reproduction.
The germ theory of disease is the currently accepted scientific theory for many diseases. It states that microorganisms known as pathogens or "germs" can lead to disease. These small organisms, too small to see without magnification, invade humans, other animals, and other living hosts. Their growth and reproduction within their hosts can cause disease. "Germ" may refer to not just a bacterium but to any type of microorganism or even non-living pathogens that can cause disease, such as protists, fungi, viruses, prions, or viroids. Diseases caused by pathogens are called infectious diseases. Even when a pathogen is the principal cause of a disease, environmental and hereditary factors often influence the severity of the disease, and whether a potential host individual becomes infected when exposed to the pathogen.
Marcus Terentius Varro was one of ancient Rome's greatest scholars and a prolific author. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus Mater or Terra Mater is a goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial era, Tellus was the name of the original earth goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier. The scholar Varro (1st century BCE) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities. She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.
Geoponici, or Scriptores rei rusticae, is a collective term for the Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome writers on husbandry and agriculture. In classical times it was regarded as a branch of economics. On the whole the Greeks paid less attention than the Romans to the scientific study of these subjects.
In the history of biology, preformationism is a formerly popular theory that organisms develop from miniature versions of themselves. Instead of assembly from parts, preformationists believed that the form of living things exist, in real terms, prior to their development. It suggests that all organisms were created at the same time, and that succeeding generations grow from homunculi, or animalcules, that have existed since the beginning of creation.
Vibrion may also refer to: the singular form of vibrio, a genus of anaerobic bacteria with a comma-like shape. Vibrion is an antiquated term for microorganisms, especially pathogenic ones; see Germ theory of disease. The term was specifically used in reference to motile microorganisms, and the name of the genus Vibrio derives from this term. The term is closely tied to the history of the study of cholera. It was used in biological literature between the late 19th century and the 1920s.
Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, those being unicellular, multicellular, or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including virology, bacteriology, protistology, mycology, immunology and parasitology.
Nenia Dea was an ancient funeral deity of Rome, who had a sanctuary outside of the Porta Viminalis. The cult of the Nenia is doubtlessly a very old one, but according to Georg Wissowa the location of Nenia's shrine (sacellum) outside of the center of early Rome indicates that she didn't belong to the earliest circle of Roman deities. In a different interpretation her shrine was located outside of the old city walls, because it had been custom for all gods connected to death or dying.
The gens Axia, also spelled Axsia, was a plebeian family at Rome during the final century of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire. The gens does not appear to have been particularly large or important, although at least some of the family were reasonably wealthy.
The gens Modia was a minor family at Ancient Rome, known from a small number of individuals.
The gens Cossinia was a plebeian family at Rome. The gens originated at Tibur, and came to Rome early in the first century BC. None of its members ever obtained the higher offices of the state.
The gens Fundania was a plebeian family at Ancient Rome, which first appears in history in the second half of the third century BC. Although members of this gens occur well into imperial times, and Gaius Fundanius Fundulus obtained the consulship in BC 243, the Fundanii were never amongst the more important families of the Roman state.
The gens Luciena was a minor family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned in the final century of the Republic.
Georg Goetz was a German classical philologist, known for his scholarly treatment of Plautus and Varro.
Quintus Fulvius Lippinus, Fulvius Lippinus for short was an enterprising Roman farmer from the first century BC. He lived in the Roman region of Tarquinia, today's Italian Tuscany. His dealings are described in the Rerum rusticarum libri III by Marcus Terentius Varro, and a century later in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.