Colorful cells connected by thin tubes
SARS-CoV-2 Could Use Nanotubes to Infect the Brain
Stressed cells can form hollow actin bridges to neighbors to get help, but the virus may hijack these tiny tunnels for its own purposes, a study suggests.
SARS-CoV-2 Could Use Nanotubes to Infect the Brain
SARS-CoV-2 Could Use Nanotubes to Infect the Brain

Stressed cells can form hollow actin bridges to neighbors to get help, but the virus may hijack these tiny tunnels for its own purposes, a study suggests.

Stressed cells can form hollow actin bridges to neighbors to get help, but the virus may hijack these tiny tunnels for its own purposes, a study suggests.

nanotubes
Collage of images including sperm, bacteria, coral, and an illustration of a researcher
Our Favorite Cell and Molecular Biology Stories of 2021
Jef Akst | Dec 2, 2021
Beyond The Scientist’s coverage of COVID-19’s molecular underpinnings were many other stories highlighting the advances made in scientists’ understanding of the biology of cells.
Scanning electron micrograph showing cancer cell attached to T call via nanotube
Cancer Cell Nanotubes Hijack Mitochondria from Immune Sentinels
Sophie Fessl | Nov 30, 2021
The mitochondria stolen via these tiny connections give tumor cells a metabolic boost while the T cells are left weakened, according to in vitro experiments.
A side-by-side illustration of bacterial nanotubes, conjugative pili, and type 3 secretion systems such as injectisomes and flagella
Infographic: What Are Bacterial Nanotubes?
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Unlike other cellular appendages, bacterial nanotubes are made solely of lipids and can connect the cytoplasm of different microbial species.
A scanning electron micrograph of a coculture of E. coli and Acinetobacter baylyi. Nanotubes can be seen extending from the E. coli.
What’s the Deal with Bacterial Nanotubes?
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Several labs have reported the formation of bacterial nanotubes under different, often contrasting conditions. What are these structures and why are they so hard to reproduce?
An illustration of a flask of bacteria, a weighted microscope slide, and two bacteria exchanging materials via nanotubes.
Infographic: Sources of Variation in Bacterial Nanotube Studies
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Differences in how researchers prepare and image samples can lead to discrepancies in their results.
Cancerous Conduits
Amanda B. Keener | Apr 1, 2016
Metastatic cancer cells use nanotubes to manipulate blood vessels.
The Cancer-Test Kid
Dan Cossins | Apr 1, 2013
After a family friend died of pancreatic cancer, high school sophomore Jack Andraka invented a diagnostic strip that could detect the disease in its early stages.
Next Generation: Breathing Nanotubes
Sabrina Richards | Sep 20, 2012
Flexible nano-sized tubules that self-assemble could be a step forward for dynamic nanostructures and perhaps drug delivery.