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

Looking for hidden states of the COVID-19 spike protein

The virus wreaking havoc on our lives is an efficient infection machine. Comprised of only 29 proteins (compared to our 400,000), with a genome 1/200,000 the size of ours, SARS-CoV-2 is expertly evolved to trick our cells ...

Cancer-linked enzyme mechanism newly characterized in study

A new study led by scientists at IUPUI and Indiana University Bloomington is the first to describe a biochemical mechanism that increases the activity of a molecule whose presence is observed in many types of cancer.

In cell division, it's all about the right balance

During cell division specific target proteins have to be turned over in a precisely regulated manner. To this end specialized enzymes label the target proteins with signaling molecules. However, the enzymes involved in this ...

Thermal vision of snakes inspires soft pyroelectric materials

Converting heat into electricity is a property thought to be reserved only for stiff materials like crystals. However, researchers—inspired by the infrared (IR) vision of snakes—developed a mathematical model for converting ...

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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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