Structure and Movement in Cells

  • Martin W. Steer
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 59)


In this introductory chapter I will review basic cellular processes and structures, emphasising the dynamic activity inherent in these biological systems. Our present knowledge of biological structure and functional activity derives from two distinct approaches, structural studies, made on living material in the light microscope and preserved material in the electron microscope; and biochemical studies made on whole living tissues and isolated tissue and cell fractions. While cytochemical studies on cells and microscopical studies on cell fractions represent attempts to bridge the gap between these two approaches there is still a lack of direct information on the dynamic activities of cells below the level of resolution of the light microscope. Our present information is largely derived from extrapolations of biochemical rate processes to the cellular level. These are made over comparatively long time scales and tell us little about the way in which these processes are controlled or modulated in the cell on a biologically significant time scale.


Endoplasmic Reticulum Biological Motion Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Laser Light Scattering Cytoplasmic Streaming 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin W. Steer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyThe Queen’s University of BelfastN. Ireland

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