Cell biology

A drawing of a prokaryotic cell
A diagram of an animal cell
The process of cell division in the animal cell cycle

Branch of biology that studies the structure, function, and behavior of cells.

- Cell biology
A drawing of a prokaryotic cell

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Diagrammatic representation of Watson and Crick's DNA structure

Molecular biology

Branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecular basis of biological activity in and between cells, including molecular synthesis, modification, mechanisms, and interactions.

Branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecular basis of biological activity in and between cells, including molecular synthesis, modification, mechanisms, and interactions.

Diagrammatic representation of Watson and Crick's DNA structure
Angle description in DNA structure
Diagrammatic representation of experiment
Hershey and Chase experiment
Schematic relationship between biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology
DNA animation
Two percent agarose gel in borate buffer cast in a gel tray.
SDS-PAGE
Proteins stained on a PAGE gel using Coomassie blue dye.
Northern blot diagram
Hybridization of target to probe

Some clinical research and medical therapies arising from molecular biology are covered under gene therapy whereas the use of molecular biology or molecular cell biology in medicine is now referred to as molecular medicine.

Oil painting depicting Claude Bernard, the father of modern physiology, with his pupils

Physiology

Scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system.

Scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system.

Oil painting depicting Claude Bernard, the father of modern physiology, with his pupils

Closely related fields include plant morphology, plant ecology, phytochemistry, cell biology, genetics, biophysics, and molecular biology.

HeLa cells stained for nuclear DNA with the blue fluorescent Hoechst dye. The central and rightmost cell are in interphase, thus their entire nuclei are labeled. On the left, a cell is going through mitosis and its DNA has condensed.

Cell nucleus

HeLa cells stained for nuclear DNA with the blue fluorescent Hoechst dye. The central and rightmost cell are in interphase, thus their entire nuclei are labeled. On the left, a cell is going through mitosis and its DNA has condensed.
Diagram of the nucleus showing the ribosome-studded outer nuclear membrane, nuclear pores, DNA (complexed as chromatin), and the nucleolus.
A cross section of a nuclear pore on the surface of the nuclear envelope (1). Other diagram labels show (2) the outer ring, (3) spokes, (4) basket, and (5) filaments.
A mouse fibroblast nucleus in which DNA is stained blue. The distinct chromosome territories of chromosome 2 (red) and chromosome 9 (green) are stained with fluorescent in situ hybridization.
An electron micrograph of a cell nucleus, showing the darkly stained nucleolus
A generic transcription factory during transcription, highlighting the possibility of transcribing more than one gene at a time. The diagram includes 8 RNA polymerases however the number can vary depending on cell type. The image also includes transcription factors and a porous, protein core.
Macromolecules, such as RNA and proteins, are actively transported across the nuclear membrane in a process called the Ran-GTP nuclear transport cycle.
An image of a newt lung cell stained with fluorescent dyes during metaphase. The mitotic spindle can be seen, stained green, attached to the two sets of chromosomes, stained light blue. All chromosomes but one are already at the metaphase plate.
Human red blood cells, like those of other mammals, lack nuclei. This occurs as a normal part of the cells' development.
Oldest known depiction of cells and their nuclei by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 1719
Drawing of a Chironomus salivary gland cell published by Walther Flemming in 1882. The nucleus contains polytene chromosomes.

In cell biology, the nucleus (pl.

(A) Electron micrograph of Halothiobacillus neapolitanus cells, arrows highlight carboxysomes. (B) Image of intact carboxysomes isolated from H. neapolitanus. Scale bars are 100 nm.

Organelle

(A) Electron micrograph of Halothiobacillus neapolitanus cells, arrows highlight carboxysomes. (B) Image of intact carboxysomes isolated from H. neapolitanus. Scale bars are 100 nm.
Structure of Candidatus Brocadia anammoxidans, showing an anammoxosome and intracytoplasmic membrane

In cell biology, an organelle is a specialized subunit, usually within a cell, that has a specific function.

Structure of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein.

Green fluorescent protein

Protein that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to light in the blue to ultraviolet range.

Protein that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to light in the blue to ultraviolet range.

Structure of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein.
Aequorea victoria
3D reconstruction of confocal image of VEGF-overexpressing neural progenitors (red) and GFP-positive control neural progenitor cells (green) in the rat olfactory bulb. RECA-1-positive blood vessels - blue color.
The diversity of genetic mutations is illustrated by this San Diego beach scene drawn with living bacteria expressing 8 different colors of fluorescent proteins (derived from GFP and dsRed).
A palette of variants of GFP and DsRed.
Live lancelet (B. floridae) under a fluorescent microscope.
Green fluorescence in the marine copepod Pontella mimocerami.
Different proteins produce different fluorescent colors when exposed to ultraviolet light.
White light image, or image seen by the eye, of fluorescent proteins in image above.
E. coli colonies expressing fluorescent proteins.
GFP Movie showing entire structure and zoom in to fluorescent chromophore.
1200x1200px
Superresolution with two fusion proteins (GFP-Snf2H and RFP-H2A), Co-localisation studies (2CLM) in the nucleus of a bone cancer cell. 120.000 localized molecules in a widefield area (470 µm2).
Mice expressing GFP under UV light (left & right), compared to normal mouse (center)
Julian Voss-Andreae's GFP-based sculpture Steel Jellyfish (2006). The image shows the stainless-steel sculpture at Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island (Wash., USA), the place of GFP's discovery.

In cell and molecular biology, the GFP gene is frequently used as a reporter of expression.

Laboratory centrifuge

Centrifugation

Mechanical process which involves the use of the centrifugal force to separate particles from a solution according to their size, shape, density, medium viscosity and rotor speed.

Mechanical process which involves the use of the centrifugal force to separate particles from a solution according to their size, shape, density, medium viscosity and rotor speed.

Laboratory centrifuge

It is one of the most important and commonly used research methods in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology.

Confocal point sensor principle from Minsky's patent

Confocal microscopy

Optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.

Optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of using a spatial pinhole to block out-of-focus light in image formation.

Confocal point sensor principle from Minsky's patent
GFP fusion protein being expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. The fluorescence is visible by confocal microscopy.
This projection of multiple confocal images, taken at the EMBL light microscopy facility, shows a group of diatoms with cyan cell walls, red chloroplasts, blue DNA, and green membranes and organelles
Example of a stack of confocal microscope images showing the distribution of actin filaments throughout a cell.
Scheme from Minsky's patent application showing the principle of the transmission confocal scanning microscope he built.
Scheme of Petráň's Tandem-Scanning-Microscope. Red bar added to indicate the Nipkow-Disk.
β-tubulin in Tetrahymena (a ciliated protozoan).
Partial surface profile of a 1-Euro coin, measured with a Nipkow disk confocal microscope.
Reflection data for 1-Euro coin.
Colour coded image of actin filaments in a cancer cell.
Green signal from anti-tubulin antibody conjugated with Alexa Fluor 488) and nuclei (blue signal from DNA stained with DAPI) in root meristem cells 4-day-old Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0). Scale bar: 5 um.

CLSM is widely used in various biological science disciplines, from cell biology and genetics to microbiology and developmental biology.

Onion (Allium cepa) root cells in different phases of the cell cycle (drawn by E. B. Wilson, 1900)

Cell (biology)

Basic structural and functional unit of life forms.

Basic structural and functional unit of life forms.

Onion (Allium cepa) root cells in different phases of the cell cycle (drawn by E. B. Wilson, 1900)
Structure of a typical prokaryotic cell
Structure of a typical animal cell
Structure of a typical plant cell
Detailed diagram of lipid bilayer of cell membrane
A fluorescent image of an endothelial cell. Nuclei are stained blue, mitochondria are stained red, and microfilaments are stained green.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
Human cancer cells, specifically HeLa cells, with DNA stained blue. The central and rightmost cell are in interphase, so their DNA is diffuse and the entire nuclei are labelled. The cell on the left is going through mitosis and its chromosomes have condensed.
Diagram of the endomembrane system
Prokaryotes divide by binary fission, while eukaryotes divide by mitosis or meiosis.
An outline of the catabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats
An overview of protein synthesis.
Within the nucleus of the cell (light blue), genes (DNA, dark blue) are transcribed into RNA. This RNA is then subject to post-transcriptional modification and control, resulting in a mature mRNA (red) that is then transported out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm (peach), where it undergoes translation into a protein. mRNA is translated by ribosomes (purple) that match the three-base codons of the mRNA to the three-base anti-codons of the appropriate tRNA. Newly synthesized proteins (black) are often further modified, such as by binding to an effector molecule (orange), to become fully active.
Staining of a Caenorhabditis elegans highlights the nuclei of its cells.
Stromatolites are left behind by cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae. They are the oldest known fossils of life on Earth. This one-billion-year-old fossil is from Glacier National Park in the United States.
Robert Hooke's drawing of cells in cork, 1665

Cell biology is the study of cells, which were discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, who named them for their resemblance to cells inhabited by Christian monks in a monastery.

This image shows an example of the central dogma using a DNA strand being transcribed then translated and showing important enzymes used in the processes

Molecular genetics

Sub-field of biology that addresses how differences in the structures or expression of DNA molecules manifests as variation among organisms.

Sub-field of biology that addresses how differences in the structures or expression of DNA molecules manifests as variation among organisms.

This image shows an example of the central dogma using a DNA strand being transcribed then translated and showing important enzymes used in the processes
An example of forward genetics in C. elegans (a nematode) using mutagenesis.
Diagram illustrating the development process of avian flu vaccine by reverse genetics techniques

The field of study is based on the merging of several sub-fields in biology: classical Mendelian inheritance, cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology.

Mitosis in an animal cell (phases ordered counter-clockwise).

Mitosis

Mitosis in an animal cell (phases ordered counter-clockwise).
Mitosis divides the chromosomes in a cell nucleus.
Label-free live cell imaging of Mesenchymal Stem Cells undergoing mitosis
Onion (Allium) cells in different phases of the cell cycle enlarged 800 diameters.
a. non-dividing cells
b. nuclei preparing for division (spireme-stage)
c. dividing cells showing mitotic figures
e. pair of daughter-cells shortly after division
Stages of early mitosis in a vertebrate cell with micrographs of chromatids
Condensing chromosomes. Interphase nucleus (left), condensing chromosomes (middle) and condensed chromosomes (right).
Prophase during mitosis
A cell in late metaphase. All chromosomes (blue) but one have arrived at the metaphase plate.
Metaphase during Mitosis
Anaphase during Mitosis
Telophase during mitosis
Cytokinesis illustration
Cilliate undergoing cytokinesis, with the cleavage furrow being clearly visible
An abnormal (tripolar) mitosis (12 o'clock position) in a precancerous lesion of the stomach (H&E stain)
Mitosis appearances in breast cancer
Cell shape changes through mitosis for a typical animal cell cultured on a flat surface. The cell undergoes mitotic cell rounding during spindle assembly and then divides via cytokinesis. The actomyosin cortex is depicted in red, DNA/chromosomes purple, microtubules green, and membrane and retraction fibers in black. Rounding also occurs in live tissue, as described in the text.
Some types of cell division in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
closed intranuclear pleuromitosis
closed extranuclear pleuromitosis
closed orthomitosis
semiopen pleuromitosis
semiopen orthomitosis
open orthomitosis
Normal and atypical forms of mitosis in cancer cells. A, normal mitosis; B, chromatin bridge; C, multipolar mitosis; D, ring mitosis; E, dispersed mitosis; F, asymmetrical mitosis; G, lag-type mitosis; and H, micronuclei. H&E stain.

In cell biology, mitosis is a part of the cell cycle in which replicated chromosomes are separated into two new nuclei.