Cells

The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit capable of independent life. Although there are some single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, most organisms consist of many cells that are specialized for particular functions.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of General Medical Sciences)

Terms to know

Blood
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called plasma. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away wastes.
Centriole
A barrel shaped structure found in cells.
Cytoplasm
The fluid inside a cell but outside the cell's nucleus. Most chemical reactions in a cell take place in the cytoplasm.
Differentiation (Cell Differentiation)
The series of biochemical and structural changes by which an unspecialized cell becomes a specialized cell with a specific function. During development, embryonic stem cells differentiate into the many cell types that make up the human body.
Golgi Apparatus (Golgi Body)
The Golgi apparatus packages molecules processed by the endoplasmic reticulum to be transported out of the cell.
Lysosome
The recycling center of the cell. They digest foreign bacteria that invade the cell, rid the cell of toxic substances, and recycle worn-out cell components.
Microtubules
Part of the cytoskeleton; a strong, hollow fiber that acts as a structural support for the cell.
Mitochondria
The cell's power plant; the organelle that converts energy from food into ATP, fueling the cell. Mitochondria contain their own small genomes and appear to have descended from free-living bacteria.
Nucleolus
The nucleolus is a region found within the cell nucleus that is concerned with producing and assembling the cell's ribosomes.
Nucleopore
The nucleopore is one of a series of small holes found in the nuclear membrane. The nucleopore serves as a channel used for transporting nucleic acids and proteins into and out of the cell nucleus.
Nucleus
In biology, the structure in a cell that contains the chromosomes. The nucleus has a membrane around it, and is where RNA is made from the DNA in the chromosomes.
Organelle
"Little organs" that are suspended in the cytoplasm of the cell. Each type of organelle has a definite structure and a specific role in the function of the cell. Examples are mitochondria and lysosomes.
Organism
An individual living thing composed of one or more cells.
Ribosome
In biology, a structure found inside cells that is involved in making proteins. Ribosomes help link amino acids together to form proteins.
Stem Cells
A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells.
Undifferentiated
A term used to describe cells or tissues that do not have specialized ("mature") structures or functions.

Terms to know

Blood
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called p...
Centriole
A barrel shaped structure found in cells....
Cytoplasm
The fluid inside a cell but outside the cell's nucleus. Most chemical reactions in a cell take place in the c...
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