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  1. How Your Body Fights Viruses: An Animation [Video]

    Don't be so antigenistic, viruses! Eh? Ehhhhhh?

    Okay, wait. Your body doesn't fight viruses with an animation. Otherwise Osmosis Jones would be required viewing for all biology classes, and nobody wants that. But as this TED-Ed video explains using easy-to-understand visual metaphors, the way your cells create antibodies to fight off invading viruses is pretty ingenious.

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  2. Diamonds and Gold Take Cell Temperature, May Be Key to New Cancer Treatment

    Accurate nanothermometers are a girl's best friend.

    Cells are tiny, which makes it pretty hard to take their temperature. A recent study published in Nature, however, suggests that diamonds and gold fragments can be used to read the temperature of individual cells. This could open up new avenues of research regarding cell behavior, and may be the first step toward a more deft method of killing cancer cells.

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  3. Check Out This Explanation of How Cells Work Using Nothing But LEGO [Video]

    And unlike LEGO blocks, cells don't hurt when you step on them barefooted.

    Science is really, really cool; that said, there's a lot of stuff that we should really remember better from high school about science and don't, because we were too busy navigating our changing bodies or whatever. With that in mind, the YouTube channel for Experiments in Science Education (AKA ExSciEd) has released a new video that explains cellular biology in the only way they know we'll know we on the Internet will listen: Stop-motion LEGO animation.

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  4. Cells Magnetically Attract Towards Wounds, Now We Know How

    When a living thing is injured, its body needs to move the cells that help repair it to the site of the damage. It does this by having cells respond to a change in the electromagnetic field of the damaged tissue. Scientists believe they now better understand how cells know where to go, and it has to do with proteins in the cells that work as on board compass.

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  5. Researchers Craft Model ‘Zombie’ Cells to Withstand High Heat and Pressure

    We're always at work making humans better, faster, and stronger, but what about individual cells? Well, we can make them stronger, too. The problem is, we... kind of have to kill them first. Once we've done that, though, what's left behind is a stronger, mineral model of the old cell's structure -- right down to its internal organs -- that could be the beginning of a new breed of high endurance nanomaterials.

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  6. Psychic Cells? Researchers Baffled By Cells That Communicate Despite Physical Separation

    Cells are amazingly complex little machines, but there are some things that even they aren't too good at -- like communicating over long distances. Generally, cells can only talk to their close neighbors through touch or send messages to the body at large by sending out chemical flares or distress signals. But researchers in California have identified a new way that cells seem to be able to communicate, and it appears this method can ignore physical barriers that would usually prevent communication, though researchers still aren't sure exactly how the mechanism works.

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  7. Cells Trapped in Nanoscale Pyramids for Study in 3D

    Researchers looking for new insights on how cells interact in three dimensions have a new tool for their studies -- nanoscale pyramid structures with open sides. These new structures allow researchers to capture individual cells for study, while still exploring how those cells interact with their surroundings and with other cells.

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  8. Cancer Cells Try To Relive Youth, Predictably Ruin Everything In The Process

    You can be forgiven for not remembering what happened when you were an embryo, because things went really, really quickly. DNA-wise, you're still largely the same person. The genes that are responsible for embryonic development in the first few days of life just get switched off after they've done their job. Researchers don't know where that switch is, or how it functions, but they have found another reason to keep looking for it. When the switch malfunctions, reactivating embryonic development genes later in life, tumors can be the result.

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  9. Pack Up The Petri Dish: New Technique Improves Protein Tracking in Cells

    Cells do an amazing number of things, from forming your skin to digesting your food, to telling you if you are sunburnt or hungry. Most of everything cells do, they do using proteins -- proteins that say where they are, proteins that let cells reproduce, and even proteins that issue orders to other cells. Tracking proteins from a cell is tricky work, though only tiny amounts are produced, and they can get lost or muddled in the cultures researchers use to grow and study cells. A team at North Carolina State University may have developed a more accurate way of watching for proteins, though, by identifying the specific highways that proteins take on their way through a cell.

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  10. Scientists Turn Mammalian Cells Into Biological “Cell Phones”

    Researchers in Switzerland have applied the principles behind cellular communication to mammalian cells. By reprogramming the cells with a specialized series of genes and proteins that allow for two-way communication, researchers have crafted cells that can talk to one another, sending messages via chemical signals rather than electronic transmission. The hope is that this two-way communication system can be harnessed to fight cancer, overriding orders sent by tumors with preprogrammed messages sent from other cells.

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  11. Scientists Say Dieting Causes Your Brain To Eat Itself

    We've all heard the reasons why dieting can be unhealthy. Most nutritionists will tell you that eating the right food in the right quantity is far more beneficial for health than going on some fad diet, but researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have a new reason why you shouldn't diet. Dieting causes the brain to eat itself. Om, nom, nom.

    Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the researchers found that in mice, neurons in the hypothalamus start to eat their own organelles (interior parts of a cell) and proteins when the animals are deprived of food. Now, the body cannibalizing itself isn't something new, when the body is starving cells will start consuming pieces of themselves in a process known as autophagy, but until now, it was believed that the brain was resistant to this process.

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  12. Study: The Secret To Youth, In Yeast At Least

    The cells in the body can only divide so many times before they die. It is this cellular lifespan that makes us grow older (whether we like it or not). But reproductive cells, the cells that go into making new lives, have an unlimited lifespan. Researchers have searched for decades to discover what it is about these cells that keeps them young while other cells age. Now, researchers from MIT have discovered a gene in yeast that controls the aging process. While the research has a long way to go before any comparisons can be drawn to the way human cells age, it does shed light on aging at a cellular level as a whole. Published in the journal Science, a team of biologists have identified the gene NDT80 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), which controls the aging process. By activating the gene in old yeast cells the researchers were able to double the typical lifespan of the cell (which is normally around 30 cell divisions).

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  13. Adaptive Optics Sees Eye Rod Cells Clearly

    Adaptive Optics (AO), the technology used by astronomers to study distant stars and galaxies clear of distortion has been used by scientists to study the cellular structure of the living eye, clear of the distortion posed by the outer eye. The researchers, from the University of Rochester, Marquette University, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, had to improve the design of non-invasive AO imaging systems. They did just that, pushing the resolution of AO to nearly 2 microns (1/1,000 of a millimeter), which is the approximate diameter of a single rod in the human eye. There are two types of photoreceptor cells in the eye, rods and cones. Using their AO system with the higher resolution the researchers were able to clearly view even the smallest cone cells which are found at the center of the retina (in the foveal center.) The researchers also report that this is the first time that rods have been clearly and directly imaged in vivo (within a living eye).

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