In science, protoplasm, from the from the Greek protos for “first”, and plasma for “thing formed”, refers either to the membrane of a plant cell (Hugo Mohl, 1846) or in origin of life sense of the hypothetical “physical basis of life” (Thomas Huxley, c.1869).

In 1844, German botanist Hugo Mohl (1805-1872) introduced the term “primordial utricle” in reference to the “protoplasmic lining” of vacuolated cells. [1]

Micro-botanists J. W. Griffith and Arthur Henfrey, in their Micrographic Dictionary (c.1869), as follows: [2]

“The name applied by Mohl to the colorless or yellowish, smooth or granular viscid substance, of nitrogenous constitution, which constitutes the formative substance in the contents of vegetable cells, in the condition of gelatinous strata, reticulated threads and nuclear aggregations, &c. It is the same substance as that formerly termed by the Germans 'schleim,' which was usually translated in English works by ‘mucus’ or ‘mucilage’.”

The surface of this mass, as summarized by Lionel Beale (1870), constituted the "formative protoplasmic layer" which was supposed to take part in the formation of the cellulose wall of the vegetable cell. This was regarded by Von Mohl as a structure of special importance distinct from the cell contents, and it was named by him, in 1844, the ‘primordial utricle’.” [2]

In 1869, Thomas Huxley, refined Mohl’s primordial utricle definition, to include its shell and contents, nitrogen-based, which at one point he referred to as “accidental anatomical modification” of the endoplasm, to mean “protoplasm”. [2]

In 1899, Ernst Haeckel, via general citation to Huxley, introduced the term “neuroplasm”, in references to the ganglion cells and their fibers, as the basis for his theory of the soul, according to which, based on embryological development of different forms of organisms, unicellular up to plants, animals, and humans, different cells, e.g. a “cell soul” or a “will soul”, differentiated out of the neuroplasmic matter, in development and over evolutionary periods. [3]

The following are noted quotes:

CHNOPS: six chemical elements are essential parts of protoplasm, the living substance itself. These are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur.”
Frank Thone (1936),“Nature Ramblings: ‘Chnops,’ Plus” [4]

1. Hugo von Mohl – Wikipedia.
2. Beale, Lionel S. (1870). Protoplasm: Life, Mind and Matter (pg. 11). J. Churchill & Sons.
3. Haeckel, Ernst. (1899). The Riddle of the Universe: at the Close of the Nineteenth Century (translator: Joseph McCabe) (§7:Psychic Gradations, pgs. 108-). Harper & Brother, 1900.
4. Thone, Frank. (1936). “Nature Ramblings: ‘Chnops,’ Plus”, Science News Letters (CHNOPS, pg. 110; protoplasm, pg. 110), 30(801), Aug 15.

External links
‚óŹ Protoplasm – Wikipedia.

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