The microscope was invented by Anton van Leeuwenhoek during the seventeenth century. Leeuwenhoek was not a scientist by profession. Initally he made a living selling clothes and buttons, but spent his spare time grinding lenses and constructing microscopes of remarkable quality, such as the light microscope. The light microscope could magnify cells, for instance in plants so you could see a clearer and bigger picture of what they are made of.
Over the years, scientists improved on Anton van Leeuwenhoeks microscope by creating microscopes with higher magnifications and far better resolutions, so specimens examined had a sharper image. The latest improvement was the electron microscope, which uses electron beams instead of lamps or mirrors reflecting light like the light microscope. As a result, microscopes have made science today, appear to have more substance, inviting the interest of many young and even old minds.
Microscopes also provide the opportunity to identify unknown objects, judging from the various characteristics they may have, so they can be grouped or classed along with others. For instance, microscopes can differentiate between two cells, due to the presence or absence of contents they are supposed to contain. The electron microscope is usually used in such cases as it can magnify the internal structures of a cell where as the light microscope would just give an idea of how the structures are spaced in the cell and not necessarily their characteristics. As simple as this may seem, this differentiation can lead to the diagnosis of a disease that a person may have.
This is the main reason why microscopes are so important and useful not only in medical research, but in survival of life as well. The identification of many viruses, fungi, plants, animals and bacteria are owed to the invention of the microscope. Without the microscope, people would not be aware of diseases they may have, which could be life-long, fatal, or contagious, resulting in many deaths and illnesses around the world as there is no way diseases can be cured without being identified.
Therefore, the invention of the microscope has proven itself to be very useful from the day of its invention to today, leaving room for even more improvement for years to come.