Urge to merge: Understanding how cells fuse

Scientists have known for a decade that cells that fuse with others to perform their essential functions—such as muscle cells that join together to make fibers—form long projections that invade the territory of their ...

Catch and release: Collagen-mediated control of PEDF availability

Cells are like tiny self-contained machines that are constantly fine-tuned in response to both internal and external signals. Some of these signals are induced by extracellular ligands, specialized proteins that bind to specific ...

Directed protein evolution with CRISPR-Cas9

"Directed evolution" is the process by which scientists produce tailor-made proteins for cell biology, physiology and biomedicine in the laboratory. Based on this method, Max Planck researchers from Martinsried have now developed ...

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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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