News tagged with cells

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Master switch for brain development found

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz have unraveled a complex regulatory mechanism that explains how a single gene can drive the formation of brain cells. The research, published in The EMBO Journal, ...

Nov 18, 2015
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FDA-approved drug protects mice from Ebola

The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 11,300 lives and starkly revealed the lack of effective options for treating or preventing the disease. Progress has been made on developing vaccines, but there ...

Nov 18, 2015
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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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