Cell biology

Cell biology

Cell biology refers to the studies of cell function and structure, and it revolves around the concept of a cell being life’s fundamental unit. A focus on cells permits a detailed understanding of organisms and tissues that cells compose. Generally, it focuses on the function and structure of a cell, starting from the unique properties, general properties shared by a majority of cells, and the intricate functions of specialised cells.

Subfields of Cell Biology

There are several subfields in cell biology. One is the study of biochemical mechanisms and cell energy that supports cell metabolism. Another subfield concerns cell genetics and a tight interconnection with proteins that control the release of genetic information from the nucleus to the cell cytoplasm. Many cell biologists concentrate on the intersection of two or more subfields as our ability to do complex cell analysis is forever expanding.

How Cell Biology Evolved

This discipline is considered to have started in the 1830s. Scientists had used microscopes for centuries but were not sure of what they were observing. Scientist Schwann, who looked at animal cells, and Schleiden, who first looked at plant cells, gave the first clear definition of a cell. The definition stated that living creatures are made from one or many cells, and the cell is the functional and structural unit of life.

As microscopes and other techniques improved, scientists managed to see more internal detail in cells. The microscopes used back then magnified specimens just a few hundredfolds. Nowadays, though, high-powered electron microscopes can magnify specimens a million times or more, revealing organelles’ shapes at scales of below a micrometre. These improved techniques have helped in understanding the great complexity of the cells and structures that they form.