Immunology

Fever alters immune cells so they can better reach infections

Fever is known to help power up our immune cells, and scientists in Shanghai have new evidence explaining how. They found in mice that fever alters surface proteins on immune cells like lymphocytes to make them better able ...

Medical research

Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce brown adipose tissue

ETH Zurich scientists have shown that statins, one of the most commonly prescribed classes of pharmaceuticals, reduce beneficial brown adipose tissue. But this is no reason to demonise these drugs, the researchers insist.

Immunology

Researchers identify how skin ages, loses fat and immunity

Dermal fibroblasts are specialized cells deep in the skin that generate connective tissue and help the skin recover from injury. Some fibroblasts have the ability to convert into fat cells that reside under the dermis, giving ...

Diabetes

Our bodies may cure themselves of diabetes in the future

Diabetes is the inability to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, due to damaged or non-existing insulin cells. Many diabetes patients take insulin supplements to regulate these levels.

Medical research

The immune system's fountain of youth

If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests this dream could be at least partly obtainable in the future. ...

Immunology

Gut immune cells cut inflammation in multiple sclerosis

Researchers at the University of Toronto and UC San Francisco have discovered that the intestine is the source of immune cells that reduce brain inflammation in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and that increasing the ...

Immunology

Chaos in the body tunes up your immune system

Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system according to a recent discovery made by researchers at the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute. The discovery may prove to be of great significance for ...

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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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