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.
Animal Cells 'Reach Out and Touch' to Communicate
Finding that typical cells in animals can talk to each other via long, thin extensions called cytonemes expands our understanding of how cells communicate.
Dendrites Show Ability to Regenerate After Injury
Discovering that dendrites, a part of nerve cells, can regenerate might one day aid the development of new approaches to heal injured nerve cells.
Abnormal Mitochondria Might Cause Resistance to Radiation Therapy
A mutant version of a gene leads to misshapen mitochondria that make cells resistant to radiation-induced death.
High-tech visualization tools and methods captured this image of retinal blood vessels, which are used to diagnose glaucoma and diabetic eye disease.
Holiday Season Cells
Scientists use imaging techniques that harness light-emitting molecules and compounds to illuminate cellular parts. Here are a few snapshots that glow red and green.
Monster Mash: Protein Folding Gone Wrong
Gooey protein clumps called amyloid plaques are associated with many chronic and debilitating disorders, and scientists now have a better understanding of how they form and contribute to disease.
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 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 Video: Beating Bleeding
Watch proteins in action as they signal blood to clot after an injury.
Cool Image: Denying Microbial Moochers
This image of several cholera-causing V. cholerae bacterial communities sheds light on how the communities operate.
Cool Image: Visualizing Viral Activity
Multiply-labeled tetravalent RNA imaging probes (MTRIPS) reveal the entry, assembly and replication of the respiratory syncytial virus inside a living cell.
Cool Image: Tiny Bacterial Motor
It looks like a fluorescent pill, but this image of an E. coli cell actually shows a new potential target in the fight against infectious diseases.