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The Amazing World of Human Cell

Updated on August 20, 2011

The Introduction to Human Cell

Every human being begins life as a single cell, a fertilized egg; by the time he reaches adulthood, his body consists of 100 trillion cells. The cell is the fundamental component of all living things. As cells deteriorate, people age. As cells malfunction, people get sick. If cells were better understood, people might live longer and stay healthier. And, thanks to a recent series of extraordinary breakthroughs, scien­tists are beginning to learn more about them.

   Scientists discovered three centuries ago that living things con­tain cells, but only in the last three decades have they begun to piece together the puzzle of how cells operate. They know a few fundamen­tal things: every single adult cell (except ova and sperm) contains the same set of genes as the original cell. Still, cells come in all shapes, sizes and functions: slim nerve cells, more than 3 feet long and about 1 forty-thousandth of an inch wide, transmit impulses between the limbs and the brain; red blood cells, sculpted like poker'chips and 3 ten-thousands of an inch in diameter, carry life-giving oxygen around the body. But researchers remain baffled by the arcane chemical mechanism that enables particular genes in different cells to switch themselves on and off and perform differently in varying circumstances.

Each of those 100 trillion cells functions like a walled city. Pow­er plants generate the cell's energy. Factories produce proteins, vital units of chemical commerce. Complex transportation systems guide specific chemicals from point to point within the cell and be­yond. Sentries at the barricades control the export and import markets, and monitor the outside world for signs and danger. Disci­plined biological armies stand ready to grapple with invaders. A cen­tralized genetic government maintains order.

Just like political institutions, cells occasionally go wrong. Recy­cling systems can break down, overloading the cells with their own toxic garbage; the result is the fatal Tay-Sachs disease, or some simi­larly horrendous genetic ailment. Confused by erroneous information, internal factories can add so many chemicals to an already abundant supply that they eventually flood the whole body; the resulting accumulations of cholesterol lead directly to cardiovascular disease. A breakdown in communications between the nuclei of cells and their outer borders can produce the unrestricted, growth that causes cancer.

Even if they operate smoothly, normal cells eventually succumb to old age — the process of biological decay that alters the cells and kills the organisms of which they form the basic units.


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    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 7 years ago from Europe

      H P Roychoudhury, thank you for your lovely comment and sorry for not being able to reply earlier. I will check your suggested hub. I am sure I will find it captivating!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is amazing to know about human cell. May I request you to read my little one “Biology of Mind & Brain?”

    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 7 years ago from Europe

      EnglishM, Love the subject because it so connected with our existance! :) Thank You for the nice comment!

    • profile image

      EnglishM 7 years ago

      I'm delighted to see that you share my interest in cytogenetics, SpiritLeo.

    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 8 years ago from Europe

      I am glad you liked it. Thank you, LogicalSpark!

    • LogicalSpark profile image

      LogicalSpark 8 years ago from India

      Great hub. Insightful & interesting.

    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 8 years ago from Europe

      JannyC, I really appreciate your visit and opinion! Thank You!

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 8 years ago

      Very indepth enjoyed this.

    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 8 years ago from Europe

      Epigramman,it's amazing to have you present here!

      Thank you for stopping by!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 8 years ago

      ..and when YOU write these hubs it's amazing what the human cell can do!

    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 8 years ago from Europe

      JM, Thank you! I do hope you will make your dream come true one day... I mean sailing around the world!!!

    • James McV Sailor profile image

      James J Mills 8 years ago from Northern California

      Well written Spirit.... I will enjoy being you Fan.


    • SpiritLeo profile image

      SpiritLeo 8 years ago from Europe

      Thank you for the nice comment, TheVoice!

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 8 years ago from carthage ill

      first rate hub work thank


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