Cellular & Microscopic Biology

Cellular and microscopic biology allow scientists to study cells and microorganisms. Cellular biology is the study of cells, including their structure and function. Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which include algae, bacteria, and viruses.

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In science, people commonly use the terms "hypertonic" and "hypotonic" when describing the concentration of solute particles in solutions. But what exactly is the difference when it comes to hypertonic vs. hypotonic solutions?

By Marie Look

Your phone might look clean, but in reality, it's harboring germs, viruses and bacteria. So stop doomscrolling in the bathroom.

By Primrose Freestone

It's kind of amazing that no two fingerprints are alike, not even for identical twins! But why is that?

By Alia Hoyt

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The Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus makes a mockery of ant free will. But how does it take over the ant body to control its host?

By Jesslyn Shields

New studies suggests your gait may be able to predict something deeper than just a temporary mood.

By Jesslyn Shields

Worried that we're running out of effective antibiotics? Never fear. Scientists are plundering cockroach brains and other surprising sources to create new lifesaving medications.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Lots of Americans believe that getting the flu is no worse than getting a cold. Or that the flu vaccine can give them flu. We separate truth from fiction.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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When you get sick, your illness can be caused by several different factors. Learn why you get sick at HowStuffWorks.

By Molly Edmonds

The results of three recent studies show that an uncircumcised man is twice as likely to contract AIDS from an infected woman as is a circumcised one.

By Julia Layton

The human body is composed of about 10 trillion cells. Everything from reproduction to infections to repairing a broken bone happens down at the cellular level. Find out all about cells.

By Marshall Brain

Your body replaces billions (with a b!) of cells every day. In about 100 days, 30 trillion be replaced, but does that mean you're a new person, too?

By Chris Opfer & Allison Troutner

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Bacteria are both friend and foe to humanity. They cause and cure health problems, make rotting food stink and give sourdough its delicious taste. Find out how these countless tiny microbes accomplish all of this and more.

By Marianne Spoon

Viruses, viroids and prions are microscopic, infectious particles with a common, despicable goal — but the way each goes about achieving that goal is different.

By Debra Ronca

Mold is a type of fungus, and it's everywhere — indoors, outdoors and even in the air. But is black mold worse than the rest? Is it as deadly as people say?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus & Austin Henderson

Researchers are working on ways to engineer viruses to attack cancer cells, killing the disease without radiation, medicine or surgery. How do the viruses know what to kill?

By Josh Clark

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How can spam e-mail help fight HIV? Find out how spam e-mail and HIV are linked and learn about new methods for HIV treatment.

By Josh Clark

Phone calls, e-mails, sign language, friendly shouts -- this is how we communicate in our daily lives. Bacteria, some of the tiniest organisms on Earth, have a different way of talking.

By Molly Edmonds

For something too small to be detected by an ordinary microscope, viruses pack a big punch. We all know they can wreak havoc on the body, but how do they do it?

By Molly Edmonds

Cell suicide sounds unpleasant, but this programmed cell death is the reason your fingers and toes are no longer webbed. What's the story behind apoptosis, and what does it have to do with curing disease?

By Molly Edmonds

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You won't find some of history's biggest killers on this list, but you will find at least one disease that will make you want to bite something and another that might make you break out in "elevated pustules." Curious yet?

By Garth Sundem

Yep, fungi are all around us — in the grocery store, in the woods or living on your discolored toenail. And fungi can break down almost anything.

By Jesslyn Shields

No life, except possibly very small bacteria, would exist on Earth without photosynthesis.

By Jesslyn Shields

Chloroplasts are where some of the most miraculous chemistry on Earth goes down.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Prokaryotic cells are like single-room efficiency apartments while eukaryotic cells are like mansions with many rooms — and they are the only two kinds of cells in the world.

By Jesslyn Shields

The part of your cells that helps you recover from a hangover is shaped like a maze of tubes and is made of two parts — the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

By Jesslyn Shields & Yara Simón