Cancer

New cancer drug targets accelerate path to precision medicine

In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers used CRISPR technology to disrupt every gene in over 300 cancer models from 30 cancer types and discover thousands of key genes essential for cancer's survival. The team, ...

Cancer

Exposing cancer's metabolic addictions

Cancerous tumors are classified primarily based on their tissue of origin. However, the sequencing of the human genome and the development of powerful and affordable DNA sequencing technologies has ushered in a new era of ...

Medical research

More evidence that blood tests can detect the risk of Alzheimer's

A new study confirms that a simple blood test can reveal whether there is accelerating nerve cell damage in the brain. The researchers analysed neurofilament light protein (NFL) in blood samples from patients with Alzheimer's ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How to be a good host (for Zika virus)

Three years after the Zika virus swept through tropical and subtropical South America, the Caribbean, Florida, and Texas, much remains unknown about what the virus needs to infect and damage its host cells in the brain. Now ...

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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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