Hard labor might be the very thing we try to avoid on Labor Day. But our cells and their components don’t have the luxury of taking a day off. Their non-stop work is what keeps us going and healthy.
Scientists often compare cells with small factories. Just like a factory, a cell contains specialized compartments and machines—including organelles and other structures—that each play their own roles in getting the job done. In the vignettes below, we give a shout out to some of these tireless cellular workers.
Mitochondria image: Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research; ribosome image: David S. Goodsell and the RCSB PDB; nucleus image: Nilesh Vaidya and Clifford Brangwynne, Princeton University; microtubules image: Eva Nogales lab, University of California, Berkeley; proteasome image: Andreas Martin, HHMI; endoplasmic reticulum image: Andrea Daga, Eugenio Medea Scientific Institute (Conegliano, Italy).