What happens in the bodies of ALS patients?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable disease of the central nervous system. In most cases, ALS is fatal within a short period following diagnosis. However, people sometimes live with the disease for decades, ...


How cytoplasmic DNA triggers inflammation in human cells

A team led by LMU's Veit Hornung has elucidated the mechanism by which human cells induce inflammation upon detection of cytoplasmic DNA. Notably, the signal network involved differs from that used in the same context in ...

Medical research

Molecular switch controls the destiny of self-eating cells

The study is the result of a collaboration of scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, University of Michigan, and University of California San Diego, USA, who were interested in finding out whether autophagy can be ...

Oncology & Cancer

Important advance in the fight against skin cancer

Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), lead by LluĂ­s Espinosa, have identified a new function of the IB protein that is key in the development of squamous-cell carcinoma, a type of skin ...

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The cytoplasm is the part of a cell that is enclosed within the plasma membrane. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm contains organelles, such as mitochondria, which are filled with liquid that is kept separate from the rest of the cytoplasm by biological membranes. The contents of the cell nucleus are not part of the cytoplasm and are instead called the nucleoplasm. The cytoplasm is the site where most cellular activities occur, such as many metabolic pathways like glycolysis, and processes such as cell division. The inner, granular mass is called the endoplasm and the outer, clear and glassy layer is called the cell cortex or the ectoplasm.

The part of the cytoplasm that is not held within organelles is called the cytosol. The cytosol is a complex mixture of cytoskeleton filaments, dissolved molecules, and water that fills much of the volume of a cell. The cytosol is a gel, with a network of fibers dispersed through water. Due to this network of pores and high concentrations of dissolved macromolecules, such as proteins, an effect called macromolecular crowding occurs and the cytosol does not act as an ideal solution. This crowding effect alters how the components of the cytosol interact with each other.

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