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.

Learn More / Page 2

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.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Centrioles are spindles that create the pathways for chromosomes to follow during cell division.

By Jesslyn Shields

The mass of microorganisms swarming inside your favorite elite athlete's body may be a great business opportunity.

By Amanda Onion

Viruses need hosts to replicate and reproduce. So if a virus has no host, how long can it survive? It depends on a lot of factors.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.


While plant and animal cells are strikingly similar, there are a few key differences.

By Jesslyn Shields & Austin Henderson

When an electron loses its partner, it creates a free radical. So is that free radical now potentially hazardous to your health?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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

You probably use the words mold and mildew interchangeably. But these two types of fungi aren't quite the same. Is one worse?

By Patty Rasmussen

While HeLa cells have been star players in medical research for decades, the woman behind them remained in the shadows for years. Discover the amazing story of Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells in this article.

By Shanna Freeman

It's all connected! Recent rodent research suggests that immune responses and social behavior may be more intertwined than we realized.

By Julia Layton


Dust traveling over the Atlantic from North Africa feeds both phytoplankton that makes the oxygen we breath and the bacteria that could kill us.

By Jesslyn Shields

Australia's western coast boasts such pink wonders. But what gives these lakes their pink hue?

By Tara Yarlagadda & Austin Henderson