Science Education: Cell Biology
Understanding the structure and function of cells and their many parts, in health and in disease—that's cell biology. Studies in cell biology focus on questions like:
- How do cells move, communicate, divide and ultimately die?
- How are cellular components made and maintained?
- What tools do we need to study cells up close and in real time?
Follow the links below to learn more about cell biology, including recent discoveries, and read profiles of researchers working in this field.
Inside the Cell
Explores the interior design of cells and vividly describes the processes that take place within cellular organelles and structures.
The Structures of Life
Reveals how understanding the shape of biological molecules involved in many cellular processes provides insight into health and disease.
Seeing Cells Poster
Displays a variety of cell images and some basic facts about cells.
Trillions of cells make up our bodies, and researchers continue to learn more about their features and functions. Discover some recent advances.
Here’s a look at just a few of the ways new light-based tools have deepened our understanding of living systems and set the stage for future medical advances.
Field Focus: Bringing Biology Into Sharper View with New Microscopy Techniques
New super-resolution microscopy techniques are letting scientists see details of cellular architecture never seen before in biology.
Cells by the Numbers
Cells are the basic unit of life—and the focus of much scientific study and classroom learning. Here are just a few of their fascinating facets.
Chemist Marc Zimmer studies protein molecules that make animals glow in the dark—and help scientists study their cells.
Mastering Stem Cells
Researcher Peggy Goodell pursues the properties and uses of stem cells.
The Forces That Bind
Engineer Andrés García studies cell stickiness to create new biomaterials that can heal bones and other body tissues.
Cool Video: How a Microtubule Builds and Deconstructs
In a process critical for many biological activities, tubulin proteins snap into place to build a microtubule, part of the cell's skeleton, which then falls to pieces from its top end.
Cool Video: How Bee Venom Toxin Kills Cells
A new video that shows how a toxin destroys an animal or bacterial cell might help scientists design new drugs to combat bacterial infections.
Cool Video: How Cilia Do the Wave
Thin, hairlike biological structures called cilia are tiny but mighty. Working together, cilia play essential roles in human health, such as sweeping debris from the lungs.
Cool Image: Of Surfaces and Stem Cells
The green threads shown here are neurons that have just formed from unspecialized cells called stem cells.
Cool Image: Training Cells to Devour Dying Neighbors
A healthy cell has engulfed a number of dying cells just as a predator might ingest wounded or dying prey.
Cool Image: Outsourcing Cellular Housekeeping
Neurons in the mouse optic nerve pass some of their worn out mitochondria to neighboring brain cells for recycling.