Related topics: cells

New technique tracks individual protein movement on live cells

The piece of gold that Richard Taylor was thrilled to track down weighed less than a single bacterium. Taylor, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute, was working to follow individual nanogold-labeled molecules ...

Beating the heat in the living wings of butterflies

A new study from Columbia Engineering and Harvard identified the critical physiological importance of suitable temperatures for butterfly wings to function properly, and discovered that the insects exquisitely regulate their ...

Molecular probe maps misfolded proteome state in live cells

The folding state of the proteins in live cells often reflect the cell's general health. Australian scientists have developed a molecular probe that senses the state of the proteome—the entire set of the proteins—by measuring ...

How bacteria control their cell cycle

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated how bacteria coordinate cell division with the replication of their genetic material. In an interdisciplinary study they explain why the current concept ...

The 'airbag' that protects cells against stress

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have identified the molecular mechanisms that allow cells to survive mechanical stress. The results, published today in Nature Communications, show ...

Designer lens helps see the big picture

Microscopes have been at the center of many of the most important advances in biology for many centuries. Now, KAUST researchers have shown how a standard microscope can be adapted to provide even more information.

Histone modifications are the influencers of zygotic genome awakening

The zebrafish is an important model organism in biology. Humans and zebrafish share 70 percent of their genes, and more than 80 percent of human genes associated with disease are known to have a zebrafish counterpart. Additionally, ...

'Just clicking' a molecule to a biomolecule for another function

Researchers have reported a material that controls the behavior of cells in a dynamic way, just as happens in biology. A new technique uses functional components that can be 'clicked' to a material using vitamin H. Researchers ...

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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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