Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

'Killer' cells raise hope of universal flu vaccine

Scientists said Monday they had discovered immune cells that can fight all known flu viruses in what was hailed as an "extraordinary breakthrough" that could lead to a universal, one-shot vaccine against the killer disease.

Medical research

CRISPR gene editing makes stem cells 'invisible' to immune system

UC San Francisco scientists have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to create the first pluripotent stem cells that are functionally "invisible" to the immune system, a feat of biological engineering that, in laboratory ...

Cancer

Advancing therapy by measuring the 'games' cancer cells play

Despite rapid advances in targeted therapies for cancer, tumors commonly develop resistance to treatment. When resistance emerges, tumor cells continue to grow unchecked, despite all attempts to slow cancer progression. While ...

Cancer

Colorectal cancer cells killed by assassin antibody, team finds

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in North America and is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, after it has spread to other parts of the body. Patients with advanced colorectal cancer generally ...

Cancer

New pathway for cell communication discovered

Small lipid vesicles known as extracellular vesicles are of great interest to cell scientists since it has been discovered that they mediate intercellular communication.

Immunology

Adhesion protein optimizes border

The epithelial cells that line the intestines build a specialized cell surface—the "brush border"—that processes and absorbs nutrients, and defends against pathogens. The brush border consists of thousands of finger-like ...

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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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