"The Cell-Theory" (1853), by Thomas Henry Huxley
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The Cell-Theory was written by Thomas Henry Huxley in Britain and published in 1853 by The British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review. The twenty-two page article reviews twelve works on cell theory, including those in Germany by Caspar Friedrich Wolff in the eighteenth century and by Karl Ernst von Baer in the nineteenth century. Huxley spends much of The Cell-Theory on a cell theory proposed in the late 1830s by Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann in Germany. Schleiden and Schwann maintained that the cell was the most fundamental unit of life and that the nucleus was the most significant cellular component. Huxley, instead, promoted an epigenetic theory of the cell, for which properties of life emerge from the outer cytoplasm, cell membrane, and wall (the periplast), as opposed to the inner contents of the cell, including the nucleus (the endoplast). Huxley's arguments in The Cell-Theory influenced future scientists about the role of epigenetic processes in embryology and development.