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cell : a small usually microscopic mass of protoplasm bounded externally by a semipermeable membrane, usually including one or more nuclei and various other organelles with their products, capable alone or interacting with other cells of performing all the fundamental functions of life, and forming the smallest structural unit of living matter capable of functioning independently — Webster

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Cell is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known living organisms. A cell is the smallest unit of life. Cells are often called the “building blocks of life”.

Cells consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane, which contains many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Organisms can be classified as unicellular (consisting of a single cell; including bacteria) or multicellular (including plants and animals). While the number of cells in plants and animals varies from species to species, humans contain more than 10 trillion cells. Most plant and animal cells are visible only under a microscope, with dimensions between 1 and 100 micrometres. — Wikipedia

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Cell biology (also called cytology) is a branch of biology that studies the structure and function of the cell, which is the basic unit of life. Cell biology is concerned with the physiological properties, metabolic processes, signaling pathways, life cycle, chemical composition and interactions of the cell with their environment. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level as it encompasses prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Knowing the components of cells and how cells work is fundamental to all biological sciences; it is also essential for research in bio-medical fields such as cancer, and other diseases. Research in cell biology is closely related to genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and developmental biology. — Wikipedia

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The wacky history of cell theory (Lauren Royal-Woods, TED-Ed)

The History Of Cell Theory (Encyclopædia Britannica)

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The operating system of life – George Zaidan and Charles Morton (TED-Ed)

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Computer game enabling users to contribute to scientific research about protein folding.


FoldIt: Solve Puzzles for Science
Foldit (Wikipedia)

Computer game that allows users to help scientists understand life at the cellular level. Play by designing RNAs, tiny molecules at the hear of every cell. If you win the weekly competition, your RNA is synthesized and scored by how well it folds.


EteRNA (Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University)
EteRNA (Wikipedia)

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Nature Cell Biology - Issue - nature.com science feeds Articles and research papers on cell division, cell structure, animal and plant cell biology and cell cycles.

  • Non-canonical function of IRE1α determines...
    by Amado Carreras-Sureda on May 20, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 20 May 2019; doi:10.1038/s41556-019-0329-yCarreras-Sureda et al. uncover a non-canonical role for IRE1α as a scaffold that stabilizes InsP3Rs at MAMs to control calcium uptake, fine-tunes ER–mitochondrial communication and regulates energy metabolism via AMPK. […]

  • IRE1α modulates ER and mitochondria crosstalk
    by Roland Malli on May 20, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 20 May 2019; doi:10.1038/s41556-019-0338-xIRE1α is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) transmembrane protein known for a crucial role in regulating the unfolding protein response. A study now shows that IRE1α interacts with the main ER Ca2+ channel InsP3Rs and facilitates the transfer of Ca2+ from the ER into mitochondria, thus driving cellular metabolism. […]

  • EGFR is required for Wnt9a–Fzd9b signalling...
    by Stephanie Grainger on May 20, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 20 May 2019; doi:10.1038/s41556-019-0330-5Grainger et al. demonstrate that, in zebrafish and human cells, EGFR-mediated phosphorylation of Fzd9b promotes internalization of the Wnt9a–Fzd9b–LRP signalosome and subsequent signal transduction. […]

  • Publisher Correction: Epigenetic modulation of a...
    by Yaser Atlasi on May 16, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 16 May 2019; doi:10.1038/s41556-019-0341-2Publisher Correction: Epigenetic modulation of a hardwired 3D chromatin landscape in two naive states of pluripotency […]

  • Yap in regeneration and symmetry breaking
    by Vivian S. W. Li on May 13, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 13 May 2019; doi:10.1038/s41556-019-0334-1Yap signalling is crucial for intestinal regeneration, but its role is largely dispensable in homeostasis. Two studies now reveal Yap-dependent mechanisms of intestinal regeneration and tissue organization: transient expansion of a rare cell type after damage in vivo and Notch–Dll activation for symmetry breaking in organoid development. […]


Cell Biology and Microbiology News - Biology news, Microbiology Phys.org provides the latest news on microbiology and cell biology.

  • Bacteria change behavior to tackle tiny obstacle...
    on May 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    It's not exactly the set of TV's "American Ninja Warrior," but a tiny obstacle course for bacteria has shown researchers how E. coli changes its behavior to rapidly clear obstructions to food. Their work holds implications for not only biology and medicine, but also robotic search-and-rescue tactics. […]

  • Zebrafish help researchers explore alternatives...
    on May 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Blood diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma are currently treated with bone marrow transplants—a transfer of blood stem cells from a healthy person to a patient in need. But the demand for patient-matched blood stem cells far exceeds their availability, and many patients go without. To bypass the need for donations, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers are using zebrafish and human cells to determine how to grow blood stem cells in a laboratory dish. […]

  • Dangerous pathogens use this sophisticated...
    on May 17, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Gastric cancer, Q fever, Legionnaires' disease, whooping cough—though the infectious bacteria that cause these dangerous diseases are each different, they all utilize the same molecular machinery to infect human cells. Bacteria use this machinery, called a Type IV secretion system (T4SS), to inject toxic molecules into cells and also to spread genes for antibiotic resistance to fellow bacteria. Now, researchers at Caltech have revealed the 3-D molecular architecture of the T4SS from the […]

  • Researchers unravel mechanisms that control cell...
    on May 17, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Working with bacteria, a multidisciplinary team at the University of California San Diego has provided new insight into a longstanding question in science: What are the underlying mechanisms that control the size of cells? […]

  • Cell polarity: An aurora over the pole
    on May 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Even before the fertilised egg or zygote can start dividing into daughter cells that form the future tissues and organs during the development of a multicellular organism, the symmetrical zygote needs to become asymmetrical or polarised in shape and molecular organisation. The master switch that triggers the symmetry breaking process in the zygotes of the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), was identified in a recent study, led by Assistant Professor Fumio Motegi, Principal […]