Open Questions: Cell Biology

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Prerequisites: Molecular biology and genetics

Introduction

Apoptosis and cell death

The cell cycle

Cell architecture and subsystems

Cell signaling

Ion channels


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction


Apoptosis and cell death


The cell cycle


Cell architecture and subsystems


Cell signaling



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes

The Virtual Library of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Extensive categorized and annotated list of links. See the general resources in particular.
Open Directory Project: Cell Biology
Categorized and annotated links. A version of this list is at Google, with entries sorted in "page rank" order. May also be found at Netscape.
Galaxy: Cell Biology
Categorized site directory. Entries usually include descriptive annotations.


Sites with general resources

Biology Project: Cell Biology
Part of the University of Arizona Biology Project. There are external links and tutorials on topics like cell membranes, cell signaling, the cell cycle and mitosis, meiosis, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and viruses, and the cytoskeleton.
Cell Death and Apoptosis
A general resource site for the topic. Includes meeting announcements, external links, news. Maintained by the Cell Death Society.
Cell Cycle, Centrosome, Cytoskeleton, and Cancer
Web site of the laboratory of William T. Sullivan. Research involves various topics in cell biology. Has good images and movies of cellular functions.
Molecular cell biology@nature.com
A portal to relevant Nature Publishing Group resouces in the field of molecular cell biology.


Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Category: Cell biology
Topic category from Wikipedia.
Cell biology
Article from Wikipedia. See also Cell nucleus, Organelle, Ribosome, Cell cycle.
What is a cell?
Basic information on cell biology from the NCBI Science Primer
Cells Alive!
Multimedia site dealing with cell biology, by James A. Sullivan. Emphasis is on images and animations of structures and processes in all types of cells. Also contains short dictionary/encyclopedia entries, often with related external links.
Cell Biology Tutorial
Good tutotrial, covering a variety of cell structures and processes, located at the Biology Online site.
Wikibooks: Cell Biology
Textbook in the Wikibooks collection. A work in progress, but already contains much useful information.
Apoptosis
A ScienceWeek "symposium" consisting of excerpts and summaries of articles from various sources.
The Cell: A Molelcular Approach
Complete online textbook, by Geoffrey M. Cooper. Index. Part of the NCBI Bookshelf.
How Cells Make Use of Random Biochemical Reactions
July 2008 Scientific American article, subtitled "New studies reveal how cells exploit biochemical randomness."
Catching Ribosomes in the Act
May 2001 Scientific American Explore article on new findings about ribosomes and how antibiotics can interfere with their operation.
Suicidal Cells
December 2000 Scientific American news article about a newly-discovered cell death process known as paraptosis.
"Messenger of Death" Molecule Identified
February 25, 2000 research announcement.
Hughes Researchers Discover Key Component of Cell Death Pathway
November 14, 1997 research report.
Programmed Cell Death
Part of 1995 annual report of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

The Enigmatic Membrane
Muriel Mari; Sharon A. Tooze; Fulvio Reggiore
The Scientist, February 2012
Despite years of research, the longstanding mystery of where the autophagosome gets its double lipid bilayers is not much clearer.
Exosome Explosion
Clotilde Théry
The Scientist, July 2011
These small membrane vesicles do much more than clean up a cell's trash - they also carry signals to distant parts of the body, where they can impact multiple dimensions of cellular life.
Enzymes Exposed
Lisa Grossman
Science News, July 17, 2010
"Clearer views of the cell's movers and shakers threaten a a century-old mainstay of biology." Recent research indicates that enzyme kinetics in cells is more random than described by the Michaelis-Menten equation.
Get Rid of the Bodies
John Travis
Science News, September 28, 2002, pp. 202-204
Cell death is a complex process. So is the process of proper disposal of the remains after death.
Coming to Terms with Death
Janet Raloff
Science News, June 16, 2001, pp. 378-380
Autoschizis is a newly recognized form of cell death. Research into it and other ways cells die should have therapeutic applications for cancer and other diseases.
The Cellular Chamber of Doom
Alfred L. Goldberg; Stephen J. Elledge; J. Wade Harper
Scientific American, January 2001, pp. 68-73
Proteasomes are structures within cells responsible for recycling cellular proteins. Proteasome malfunction can be associated with various diseases.
Cell Communication: The Inside Story
John D. Scott; Tony Pawson
Scientific American, June 2000, pp. 72-79
Knowldege about the transmission of information signals between and within cells is key to understanding how cells operate and function in larger groups. This will in turn lead to better understanding of malfunctions that result in disease.
Prokaryotes
Michael Hoppert; Frank Mayer
American Scientist, November-December 1999, pp. 518-525
Prokaryotic cells are represented by bacteria, as opposed to eukaryotic ("true nucleus") cells which make up most other forms of life. Although lacking a nucleus, prokaryotes have a great deal of internal organization.
How the Ribosome Works
Joachim Frank
American Scientist, September-October 1998, pp. 428-439
The ribosome is the basic cellular structure for synthesizing proteins according to the instructions encoded by DNA. Progress in understanding the process involved is aided by techniques for imaging ribosomes.
Cell Suicide in Health and Disease
Richard C. Duke, David M. Ojcius, Jong Ding-E Young
Scientific American, December 1996, pp. 80-87
Cellular suicide (apoptosis) is a normal part of many biological functions. Improper regulation of the process is related to various disorders such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Budding Vesicles in Living Cells
James E. Rothman, Lelio Orci
Scientific American, March 1996, pp. 70-75
Vesicles are the complex transportation system for proteins within a cell. The molecular details of how they develop is being worked out.
The Maturation of a Cell
Gary S. Stein, Janet L. Stein, André J. van Wijnen, Jane B. Lian
American Scientist, January-February 1996, pp. 28-37
Significant progress has been made in identifying genes involved in cell growth and maturation. How specific genes are activated is a key question.
G Proteins
Maurine E. Linder; Alfred G. Gilman
Scientific American, July 1992, pp. 56-65
G proteins (named for their ability to bind to guanine nucleotides) play a prominent role in signal transduction within cells. As such, they are involved in a wide variety of chemical messaging processes between a cell and its external environment.


Recommended references: Books

Franklin M. Harold -- The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life
Oxford University Press, 2001
Although the book is ostensibly about cells, cell biology is used as a means to consider the larger question "what is life?". But the presentation of cell biology is still very good, dealing with such traditional topics as cell structure, cell division, energy production, and the evolutionary origins of modern cellular diversity. There's plenty of detail and erudition here, providing a picture window on the whole landscape of contemporary biology.
Boyce Rensberger -- Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell
Oxford University Press, 1996
An outstanding account of cell biology for a general audience. Topics include internal structure of cells, the process of cell division (mitosis, the cell cycle), how genes work, energy production, and cellular development/specialization.

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