|Published||November 18, 2020|
|Source||View this article at Knowable Magazine|
The fluid inside a living cell bustles with activity. Proteins, RNA, lipids and other molecules wiggle, zip, glide and drift through this broth — catalyzing reactions, activating receptors, relaying messages, marking viruses and other foreign molecules for destruction and performing a gazillion other tiny but crucial tasks. It all adds up to keep cells — and the life forms they’re a part of — running smoothly.
Biologists have studied these cellular processes for decades. They know an immense amount about the membrane-enclosed organelles inside cells — mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies and more. And they have dissected, often down to atomic-level detail, some of the molecular machinery that drives biological events.
But at the crucial in-between scale, a big question mark remains…