Related topics: protein · cancer cells · cancer · stem cells · immune system

New cyclization reactions for synthesizing macrocyclic drug leads

Scientists at EPFL have developed a new method to synthesize and screen thousands of macrocyclic compounds, a family of chemicals that are of great interest in the pharmaceutical industry. The study is published in Science ...

MEG3 kissing loops essential for tumor suppression

A team of researchers in the Marcia group at EMBL Grenoble have discovered that the tumor suppressor MEG3 adopts a complex three-dimensional structure to fulfill its function. Furthermore, they were able to fine-tune its ...

Researchers show evidence of cellular clocks in cells

One of nature's most familiar phenomena is collective behavior—fish swimming in schools, locusts marching together, birds flocking. The same thing happens in humans, with individual cells synchronizing into circadian rhythms, ...

Folded paper creates portable lab for field laboratory tests

Monitoring and tracking biological threats or epidemics require the ability to carry out medical and laboratory tests in the field during a disaster or other austere situations. Expensive laboratory equipment is often unavailable ...

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Cell (biology)

The cell is the structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of an organism that is classified as living, and is often called the building block of life. Some organisms, such as most bacteria, are unicellular (consist of a single cell). Other organisms, such as humans, are multicellular. (Humans have an estimated 100 trillion or 1014 cells; a typical cell size is 10 µm; a typical cell mass is 1 nanogram.) The largest known cell is an unfertilized ostrich egg cell.

In 1835 before the final cell theory was developed, a Czech Jan Evangelista Purkyně observed small "granules" while looking at the plant tissue through a microscope. The cell theory, first developed in 1839 by Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells. All cells come from preexisting cells. Vital functions of an organism occur within cells, and all cells contain the hereditary information necessary for regulating cell functions and for transmitting information to the next generation of cells.

The word cell comes from the Latin cellula, meaning, a small room. The descriptive name for the smallest living biological structure was chosen by Robert Hooke in a book he published in 1665 when he compared the cork cells he saw through his microscope to the small rooms monks lived in.

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