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March 13, 2012

A Tour of the Cell

Although the cell is the smallest unit of life, it is by no means simple. The human body is made up of tens of trillions of cells like this one, that have developed a highly synchronized set of components to carry out the processes that keep the organism alive, allow it to reproduce and adapt to changing environments. New research suggests such complex cells, which scientists call eukaryotes, arose from the fusion of two, single-celled organisms in a symbiotic effort to survive. An ostrich egg is the largest known single cell, but most individual cells are too small to see without a microscope.

This image is actually an interactive graphic in the National Science Foundation (NSF) overview for biology on the NSF website. You can learn more about the various parts of the image Here, or see the full biology overview Here (Date of Image: 2010)

Credit: Nicolle Rager, National Science Foundation

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