Oncology & Cancer

Dozens of non-oncology drugs can kill cancer cells

Drugs for diabetes, inflammation, alcoholism—and even for treating arthritis in dogs—can also kill cancer cells in the lab, according to a study by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber ...

Medical research

Solving a biological puzzle: How stress causes gray hair

When Marie Antoinette was captured during the French Revolution, her hair reportedly turned white overnight. In more recent history, John McCain experienced severe injuries as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War—and ...

Medical research

Proteins that protect against joint inflammation identified

Endogenous proteins that play a vital part in allergies and parasitic infection can prevent the immune system from wrongly attacking the body and causing inflamed joints, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published ...

Diabetes

Cell research offers diabetes treatment hope

A new cell treatment to enhance islet transplantation could help maintain healthy blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes without the need for multiple transplants of insulin producing cells or regular insulin injections, research ...

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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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