A new force for optical tweezers

When studying biological cells using optical tweezers, one main issue is the damage caused to the cell by the tool. Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg, has discovered a new type of force that will greatly reduce the ...

Snapshots of the flu virus replication machine in action

Researchers from EMBL Grenoble have, for the first time, observed different functional states of the influenza virus polymerase as it is actively transcribing. These results, published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, ...

Trap-and-release accelerates study of swimming ciliated cells

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have been studying cilia for years to determine how their dysfunction leads to infertility and other conditions associated with cilia-related diseases. Now, they will be able ...

Tree of life brought to scale by Yale scientists

Examples of biological scaling are everywhere. The paw of a mouse is smaller than the human hand. Our own organs and limbs typically scale with our body size as we develop and grow.

Cell polarity: An aurora over the pole

Even before the fertilised egg or zygote can start dividing into daughter cells that form the future tissues and organs during the development of a multicellular organism, the symmetrical zygote needs to become asymmetrical ...

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Cell biology

Cell biology (formerly cytology, from the Greek kytos, "container") is an academic discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level. Cell biology research encompasses both the great diversity of single-celled organisms like bacteria and protozoa, as well as the many specialized cells in multicellular organisms like humans.

Knowing the components of cells and how cells work is fundamental to all biological sciences. Appreciating the similarities and differences between cell types is particularly important to the fields of cell and molecular biology as well as to biomedical fields such as cancer research and developmental biology. These fundamental similarities and differences provide a unifying theme, sometimes allowing the principles learned from studying one cell type to be extrapolated and generalized to other cell types. Hence, research in cell biology is closely related to genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and developmental biology.

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