This page has been archived and is no longer updated


Essentials of Cell Biology

What do an amoeba and an elephant have in common? If liver cells have the same DNA as brain cells, why are they different? What goes wrong during cancer? The answers to these questions depend on the properties of cells, the fundamental units of life. Essentials of Cell Biology introduces readers to the core concepts of cell biology. This course can provide an introduction to cell biology for beginning students of all ages or be a springboard to more specialized topics for advanced students. The course begins with a discussion of the fundamental properties of cells: the origin of the cell, how cells are organized, how they reproduce, and how they use energy. Other units in the course expand these topics and provide insight into the processes that regulate cell function and generate the amazing variety of cell types seen in living organisms. Topics include the decoding process that produces distinct sets of proteins in different cell types, the cellular structures responsible for cell function, the signals that cells use to communicate with one another, and the intricate controls on cell division. At the end of each unit in this eBook there is the option to test your knowledge with twenty multiple-choice questions.

About the Authors

Lead Editor: Clare O'Connor, Ph.D.
: Jill U. Adams, Ph.D.
Illustrations: Jennifer E. Fairman, C.M.I., F.A.M.I.

Clare O’Connor is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Boston College. She teaches courses in cell biology and genetics. She has recently developed new lab classes that engage students in functional genomics research. Clare spends a lot of time thinking about how to use electronic learning resources to get students excited about science.

Jill U. Adams is a scientist-turned-science-writer who writes about health, medicine, and scientific research for scientists and lay audiences alike. She got hooked on cell biology well after graduate school, through reading Lewis Thomas and writing about cellular processes such as autophagy, the cell's ultimate form of recycling.

Jennifer Fairman is the Founder and Principal of Fairman Studios, LLC. She also holds a faculty appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Jennifer enjoys translating science into images that people can easily understand.

Citation: O'Connor, C. M. & Adams, J. U. Essentials of Cell Biology. Cambridge, MA: NPG Education, 2010.

Last Updated: January 17, 2014 

Essentials of Cell Biology


Scitable by Nature Education Nature Education Home Learn More About Faculty Page Students Page Feedback