Neuroscience

Growing a cerebral tract in a microscale brain model

An international research team led by The University of Tokyo modeled the growth of cerebral tracts. Using neurons derived from stem cells, they grew cortical-like spheroids. In a microdevice, the spheroids extended bundles ...

HIV & AIDS

Gene-editing technique opens door for HIV vaccine

The human body cannot naturally defend itself against HIV—not usually, at least. But in very rare cases, infected individuals generate broadly neutralizing antibodies, or bNAbs, that fight the virus. Now, Rockefeller scientists ...

Neuroscience

How our gray matter tackles gray areas

When Katie O'Nell's high school biology teacher showed a NOVA video on epigenetics after the AP exam, he was mostly trying to fill time. But for O'Nell, the video sparked a whole new area of curiosity.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI) has identified ...

Neuroscience

General anesthesia hijacks sleep circuitry to knock you out

The discovery of general anesthesia 170 years ago was a medical miracle, enabling millions of patients to undergo invasive, life-saving surgeries without pain. Yet despite decades of research, scientists still don't understand ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How the hepatitis B virus establishes persistent infection

New research sheds light on how a hepatitis B viral protein stimulates the expansion of immune cells that impair antiviral responses, according to a study published April 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Haitao ...

page 1 from 23

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