Related topics: cells

Anatomy of an acne treatment

Sarecycline, a drug approved for use in the United States in 2018, is the first new antibiotic approved to treat acne in more than 40 years. Now, researchers at Yale and the University of Illinois-Chicago have discovered ...

How proteins regulate the outer envelope of bacterial cells

Like all cells, bacteria have a membrane that shields them from the outside like a skin. This barrier is not static, but has to allow transport of substances in and out and be flexible so that the bacterial cells can grow. ...

Wounded plants: How they coordinate their healing

When we cut our fingers, blood rushes out of the wound to close it. However, the vegetable we just wanted to slice and dice, would have reacted completely differently to this injury. Scientists at the Institute of Science ...

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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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