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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.

  • PD-L1 controls cancer pyroptosis
    by María Teresa Blasco on September 17, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 17 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00582-wProgrammed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is well known for its role as an immune checkpoint regulator, but little is known about its function in other cellular processes. A study now shows that in tumour cells PD-L1 mediates pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of cell death, by activating the expression of Gasdermine C, ultimately leading to tumour necrosis.

  • Author Correction: AP-1 imprints a reversible...
    by Ricardo Iván Martínez-Zamudio on September 16, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 16 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00589-3Author Correction: AP-1 imprints a reversible transcriptional programme of senescent cells

  • Nucleated transcriptional condensates amplify...
    by Ming-Tzo Wei on September 14, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 14 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-00578-6Wei et al. show that clusters of unphosphorylated RNA polymerase II seed the nucleation of phase-separated condensates of TAF15, which further recruit RNA polymerase II to amplify transcriptional activation.

  • PD-L1-mediated gasdermin C expression switches...
    by Junwei Hou on September 14, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 14 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-0575-zHou et al. show that following hypoxia PD-L1 translocates into the nucleus to enhance transcription of GSDMC, which is then cleaved and activated by caspase-8 to cause pyroptosis in cancer cells.

  • lncRNA DIGIT and BRD3 protein form...
    by Kaveh Daneshvar on September 7, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Nature Cell Biology, Published online: 07 September 2020; doi:10.1038/s41556-020-0572-2Daneshvar et al. show that BRD3 and the lncRNA DIGIT form phase-separated condensates at genomic regions with H3K18ac to co-regulate the transcription of genes that drive endoderm differentiation.


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

  • Removal of a gene could render lethal poxviruses...
    on September 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    The removal of one gene renders poxviruses—a lethal family of viral infections that are known to spread from animals to humans—harmless, a new study in the journal Science Advances reports.

  • Biologists create new genetic systems to...
    on September 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    In the past decade, researchers have engineered an array of new tools that control the balance of genetic inheritance. Based on CRISPR technology, such gene drives are poised to move from the laboratory into the wild where they are being engineered to suppress devastating diseases such as mosquito-borne malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever and West Nile. Gene drives carry the power to immunize mosquitoes against malarial parasites, or act as genetic insecticides that reduce mosquito […]

  • Coordination of hormonal signaling and nutrient...
    on September 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    A biologist at RIKEN has discovered the way in which steroid signaling regulates the breakdown of sugar molecules in fruit flies so as to provide the energy larvae need to enter the pupal stage. This finding could have much wider implications that may extend to life-stage changes in people.

  • Q&A: Powerful, double-decker bus-sized...
    on September 18, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Researchers at UBC's faculty of medicine are working with microscopes—some up to 13 feet tall—to help prevent and treat COVID-19.

  • 'Cellular compass' guides stem cell division in...
    on September 17, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    The stem cells tasked with creating and maintaining biological tissues have a difficult job. They have to precisely divide to form new specialized cells, which are destined to different fates even though they contain identical DNA. An obvious question then is: How do the cells divide in all the right ways to produce a healthy tissue? This was the grand motivating question for Andrew Muroyama, a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Stanford University biologist Dominique Bergmann, as he monitored […]