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The cell is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing. All organisms are made of at least one cell and come from preexisting cells. Some organisms, such as most bacteria, consist of a single cell. Humans have about 100 trillion cells.

The entrance to the Origins Exhibit welcomes each visitor to the stunning beauty and microscopic intricacies of the single cell—the smallest functional unit of an organism.

Scientists from all positions in the origins debate agree that the complexity of the cell is mind-boggling. But one significant area where opinions differ is in considering the formation of the first cell.