In 1677, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek had a letter published in the Royal Society’s journal Philosophical Transactions, which was the first paper to describe microbes, opening up the world of microbiology that we know today. This year is the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, so the Royal Society commissioned a special issue containing commentaries about some of the most important papers to appear in the journal. I spoke to Dr Nick Lane, from University College London, who’s written about Leeuwenhoek’s letter and its importance.
Speaking of Royal Society journals, I also spoke to Dr Paul Parham from the University of Liverpool in this podcast. Paul has recently co-edited a themed edition of the Philosophical Transactions B, which concentrates on the effect that climate change is having on vector-borne diseases, such as those transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. I asked Paul about how changes in climate are altering the behaviour and habit of these vectors, and what this might mean for diseases.
- Nick Lane’s homepage
- Nick’s review of Leeuwenhoek’s letter
- This is what a Leeuwenhoek microscope looks like
- Paul Parham’s themed issue on climate change and vector-borne diseases