There were new facts on cells coming fast and thick at the 20th Foundation day of the Hyderabad -based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
Judith Klumperman, head of the Cell Microscopy Centre, University Medical Centre, Ultrecht (The Netherlands) spoke in length on known and unknown intricacies of the human cell, in a session entitled 'The inner world of cells: beauty, function and impact' .
Klumperman gave that cell biology was the science which studied how the inner world of cells functioned. It was important she said, as many human diseases like cancer, infertility and auto-immune ailments came about through a defect in cellular functioning.
Klumperman has developed novel microscopic techniques to study the movement of proteins in different parts of the cells .She has studied the function of cells from the pancreas, brain and muscle cells. Her laboratory pioneered a correlative microscopy method that permits the direct combination of live cells imaging with the most sensitive immunoelectron microscopy method to date.
Klumperman is an acclaimed teacher of the basic principles of cell biology. She has been awarded by the International Society of Alzheimer Research and the Dutch Society for Microscopy.
"Don't write off the cells as listless, countless flock of tiny specks. They have their own life too — as complex, as dynamic and as exciting as our own.
"A cell is not a balloon. It does have a 'stomach', a communication system and a mechanism to identify the target proteins.
"Perhaps, it looks more intelligent than what they ultimately make — the living beings", Klumperman informed her audience.
She also enthralled her group of listeners with recorded footage of a cell hounding down a bacterium.
"The cell is not an empty balloon," stressed the Dutch scientist. "They hold the key for genetic diseases such as infertility, auto-immune diseases and cancer," she said.