Controlling the shape-shifting skeletons of cells

You know you have a skeleton, but did you know that your cells have skeletons, too? Cellular skeletons, or cytoskeletons, are shapeshifting networks of tiny protein filaments, enabling cells to propel themselves, carry cargo, ...

Amoeba builds barriers for protection against bacteria

In some respects, animals and amoebae are not that different. For instance, both are at risk of potentially deadly attacks by bacteria and have evolved ways to prevent them. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine report ...

Algal library lends insights into genes for photosynthesis

It isn't easy being green. It takes thousands of genes to build the photosynthetic machinery that plants need to harness sunlight for growth. And yet, researchers don't know exactly how these genes work.

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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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