Cell biology is the study of the cell which are the structural and functional unit at the bases of the organisms. Such organisms may have one or more cells cooperating and interacting. Depending on the organism, cells may be eukaryotic or prokaryotic, names given from the composition of the cell with nucleus or other organelles. Cell biology research scope covers the studies of the function, the structure, the interaction and life activities of cells. These properties, in a single organism might be shared by all the cells or, on the contrary specific to one subtype of cells with dedicated functions.
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Cell Biology science
Cell biology may be studied under different views.
Cell structure studies the different components and their localization in a cell. Such composition varies depending on the organisms. Eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic one are different with the presence of nucleus in the former for example. There are also differences between animal cells and plant cells such as the presence of chloroplast and vacuole in plant cells. Indeed the size and composition of each organelle may also be different from one cell to another given their function.
Cell life cycle
Cell life cycle is the different steps through which the cell goes from its creation to its death. These different events include its development, differentiation and proliferation. Indeed, in multicellular organism cells derive from an original one. As the functions of the cells are different from one another they must differentiate after their creation. During the proliferation step the cell follow a cell cycle which is a repetition of phases (noted S, G2, M, G1) in which the cell evolve to divide and create a new one through the synthesis and replication of DNA.
Cell signaling describes the pathways used by the cell to communicate with itself, other cells and its environment. These pathways are caused by external stimuli such as pressure, voltage, light, temperature or chemicals such as proteins or small molecules getting I contact with receptors at the surface of the cell such as Toll like Receptor 4 protein. The induced changes happen on proteins which can include the opening of channels through the surface of the cells or organelles, the conformational change of proteins or the activation of enzymes.
Cell adhesion describes the way the cell surface can interact with the other cells in contact with it. This is made possible thanks to Cell adhesion molecules (CAM) such as integrins or cadherins. Cell adhesion scope also covers tissue synthesis and development as well as cell migration.
Cell death is the end of the activities of the cell. This may either be following a normal behavior at the end of its life cycle and in upfront to the renewal of this cell in what is called programmed cell death or be the result of abnormal state in case of injury or infection for instance. Programmed cell death is a process that aims to regulate cell proliferation. It may be defined as apoptosis or autophagy depending on the process. Non-programmed cell death may be referred as necrosis, when the cell is damaged by an external cause.