For Blood Stem Cells, Size Matters

The size of cells can vary widely from one species to another; the cells of phytoplankton are about one micron while frog oocytes can reach one millimeter. Even within one organism, there can be huge differences; human neurons can be huge compared to red blood cells, for example. But most specific cell types have to maintain a particular size, which ensures that they function efficiently. For example, blood cells have to be really small so they can fit into capillaries, while neurons may have to link distant regions, like the brain and peripheral organs. Thus, it’s important for cells to control their size, which is linked to the regulation of growth and division.

Aged cells that have stopped dividing, called senescent cells,…

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