Oncology & Cancer

Fullerene compounds will help in the fight against lung cancer

A team of scientists from Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology, the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences and National Taiwan University has discovered that fullerene compounds ...

Oncology & Cancer

Repurposing heart drugs to target cancer cells

Senescence is a cellular stress response that results in the stable growth arrest of old and damaged cells. The past decade has revealed that senescent cells play important roles in a growing list of diseases from cancer, ...

Medical research

The role of Klumpfuss in intestinal cell differentiation

Stem cells are essential for homeostasis and cell renewal in organs like skin, lung or intestine. During the course of life, their function decreases steadily, making this decline a main factor for the development of age-associated ...

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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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