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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.

  • STAT3–BDNF–TrkB signalling promotes alveolar...
    by Andrew J. Paris on September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 28 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-0569-xParis et al. show that after injury or influenza infection alveolar type II cells signal via a STAT3–BDNF axis that activates the TrkB receptor on mesenchymal niche cells and enhances alveolar repair.

  • Autophagy goes nuclear
    by Jay X. Tan on September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 28 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00587-5Sirtuins are highly conserved enzymes with key roles in life extension in multiple organisms. A study now describes selective autophagic degradation of nuclear SIRT1 in senescent cells. These observations suggest that blocking sirtuin degradation could be a potential approach for anti-ageing therapies.

  • Global hyperactivation of enhancers stabilizes...
    by Cian J. Lynch on September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 28 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-0573-1Lynch et al. demonstrate that inhibiting CDK8 and CDK19 kinases increases Mediator-driven recruitment of RNA Pol II to promoters and enhancers, therefore stabilizing the naive transcriptional program.

  • Mitochondrial RNA granules are fluid condensates...
    by Timo Rey on September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 28 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00584-8Phase separation concentrates mitochondrial RNA granules. Here Rey et al., show that mitochondrial RNA granules (MRGs) behaviour is consistent with liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) and their fusion coincides with mitochondrial remodelling.

  • SIRT1 is downregulated by autophagy in senescence...
    by Caiyue Xu on September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 28 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00579-5Xu et al. report that nuclear SIRT1 is recognized as an autophagy substrate during senescence and also observe ageing of the immune system.


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

  • New research on how fungal cells respond to stress
    on September 30, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have published new findings in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics on critical cellular processes triggered when cells respond to environmental stress. Mark Marten, professor of chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering, led the research team, which identified three coordinated pathways involved in the response to cell wall stress in filamentous fungi. Cynthia Chelius, who recently earned her Ph.D. in chemical […]

  • Gene expression altered by direction of forces...
    on September 30, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Tissues and cells in the human body are subjected to a constant push and pull—strained by other cells, blood pressure and fluid flow, to name a few. The type and direction of the force on a cell alters gene expression by stretching different regions of DNA, researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators in China found in a new study.

  • Rodent ancestors combined portions of blood and...
    on September 30, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Experts who study animal pheromones have traced the evolutionary origins of genes that allow mice, rats and other rodents to communicate through smell. The discovery is a clear example of how new genes can evolve through the random chance of molecular tinkering and may make identifying new pheromones easier in future studies. The results, representing a genealogy for the exocrine-gland secreting peptide (ESP) gene family, were published by researchers at the University of Tokyo in the journal […]

  • Breaking COVID-19's 'clutch' to stop its spread
    on September 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Scripps Research chemist Matthew Disney, Ph.D., and colleagues have created drug-like compounds that, in human cell studies, bind and destroy the pandemic coronavirus' so-called "frameshifting element" to stop the virus from replicating. The frameshifter is a clutch-like device the virus needs to generate new copies of itself after infecting cells.

  • The odd special mutation can be very...
    on September 30, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Geneticist Jolanda van Leeuwen remembers the day she made a striking observation that would take her down a new research path. A strain of yeast cells carrying a complete deletion of an essential gene in their genomes, which should be lethal, somehow thrived in the Petri dish as if perfectly healthy. Van Leeuwen later determined that the cells had developed another mutation that allowed them to bypass the harmful effects associated with the missing gene.