Engineering

Tiny brains grown in 3D-printed bioreactor

Scientists from MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have grown small amounts of self-organizing brain tissue, known as organoids, in a tiny 3-D-printed system that allows observation while they grow and develop. ...

Energy & Green Tech

A green battery for home use in rural Africa

EPFL startup hiLyte has developed an eco-friendly battery that will allow people in Sub-Saharan Africa to light their homes and charge their cell phones. The technology is currently being tested by families in Tanzania.

Robotics

Researchers create nano-bot to probe inside human cells

University of Toronto Engineering researchers have built a set of magnetic 'tweezers' that can position a nano-scale bead inside a human cell in three dimensions with unprecedented precision. The nano-bot has already been ...

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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