Related topics: cells

Bacterial DNA can be read either forwards or backwards: study

Bacteria contain symmetry in their DNA signals that enable them to be read either forwards or backwards, according to new findings at the University of Birmingham which challenge existing knowledge about gene transcription.

Healthy plants appear to carry bacteria in their cells

International experts have described for the first time how healthy plants appear to carry bacteria in their cells, opening a new avenue of research to improve future plant health and propagation efforts—including food ...

New method could democratize deep learning-enhanced microscopy

Deep learning is a potential tool for scientists to glean more detail from low-resolution images in microscopy, but it's often difficult to gather enough baseline data to train computers in the process. Now, a new method ...

Scientists use Doppler to peer inside cells

Doppler radar improves lives by peeking inside air masses to predict the weather. A Purdue University team is using similar technology to look inside living cells, introducing a method to detect pathogens and treat infections ...

Stem cells provide hope for dwindling wildlife populations

A paper recently published in the scientific journal Stem Cells and Development shares an important advancement in conservation—one that may make the difference between survival and extinction for wildlife species that ...

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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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