A nerve cell (green) grown from cells in the lab. Image by Gerry Shaw for Wikimedia
Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things, acting like mini-compartments for biological equipment.
Our bodies are made up of roughly 100 trillion cells and hundreds of different types of cells make up the different parts of our bodies. Nerve cells send and receive electrical signals traveling around the body at 20mph! And muscle cells allow us to move and keep our heart beating.
Cancer is caused when cells go rogue. They break the rules about when they should grow and multiply until they are out of control.
Scientists are trying to understand what the rules are and why some cells break them
Put an onion under the microscope and you’ll see how it’s cells fit together like bricks. Image by Kaibara87 for Wikimedia
, so that they can invent new cancer treatments.
Scientists are now growing cells outside of the human body, in the lab. By creating the right conditions they’re able to grow whole organs from just a few cells. Scientists have already grown bladders, hearts, kidneys and even a jawbone. It’s hoped in the future that growing these organs could help treat illness and injuries.