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


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


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

If you've kept up with the news lately, you've probably heard dire warnings about avian flu, or bird flu. In this article, we'll review the basics of how viruses and influenza work, and we'll learn the answers to these and other questions about avian flu, including whether it is likely to cause a global flu epidemic.

By Tracy V. Wilson


While most flu sufferers moan and groan for about a week and then return to work, the flu season creates more than just discomfort and a costly loss of work days.

By Stephanie Watson

We hear about them on the news and we listen to politicians argue for and against them using them to treat disease. Learn all about stem cells and the research, challenges and controversy that surround them.

By Stephanie Watson & Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Nearly every cell in your body has the same DNA. It's the hereditary material located your cells' nucleus. But what does it do and why is it so important to all living beings?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Jennifer Walker-Journey

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far.

By Kevin Bonsor & Oisin Curran


Your body temperature has an important role to play in fighting off infections from viruses like the flu. Here's how it works.

Learn about weight gain and the processes going on in your cells.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Influenza, Ebola and COVID-19 are all viruses. Find out what a virus does to your body and how to decrease your chance of exposure.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Patrick J. Kiger

The journal "Nature" recently published a paper describing how a cell transplant had allowed blind mice to see again. What does this mean for humans?

By Tracy V. Wilson


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

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


Pasteurization is the process of removing harmful pathogens from various types of food. How was this process discovered?

By Carol White

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