Unit 2_Cells_Tissues_Membranes

Unit 2_Cells_Tissues_Membranes - Cell Structure and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Cell Structure and Function Cells, the smallest structures capable of maintaining life and reproducing, compose all living things, from single-celled plants to multibillion-celled animals. The human body, which is made up of numerous cells, begins as a single, newly fertilized cell. Almost all human cells are microscopic in size. To give you an idea how small a cell is, one average-sized adult body, according to one estimate, consists of 100 trillion cells! Cell Structure Ideas about cell structure have changed considerably over the years. Early biologists saw cells as simple membranous sacs containing fluid and a few floating particles. Today's biologists know that cells are infinitely more complex than this. There are many different types, sizes, and shapes of cells in the body. For descriptive purposes, the concept of a "generalized cell" is introduced. It includes features from all cell types. A cell consists of three parts: the cell membrane, the nucleus, and between the two, the cytoplasm. Within the cytoplasm lie intricate arrangements of fine fibers and hundreds or even thousands of miniscule but distinct structures called organelles. Cell membrane Every cell in the body is enclosed by a cell (Plasma) membrane. The cell membrane separates the material outside the cell, extracellular, from the material inside the cell, intracellular. It maintains the integrity of a cell and controls passage of materials into and out of the cell. All materials within a cell must have access to the cell membrane (the cell's boundary) for the needed exchange. The cell membrane is a double layer of phospholipid molecules. Proteins in the cell membrane provide structural support, form channels for passage of materials, act as receptor sites, function as carrier molecules, and provide identification markers.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Nucleus and Nucleolus The nucleus, formed by a nuclear membrane around a fluid nucleoplasm, is the control center of the cell. Threads of chromatin in the nucleus contain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic material of the cell. The nucleolus is a dense region of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the nucleus and is the site of ribosome formation. The nucleus determines how the cell will function, as well as the basic structure of that cell. Cytoplasm The cytoplasm is the gel-like fluid inside the cell. It is the medium for chemical reaction. It provides a platform upon which other organelles can operate within the cell. All of the functions for cell expansion, growth and replication are carried out in the cytoplasm of a cell. Within the cytoplasm, materials move by diffusion, a physical process that can work only for short distances. Cytoplasmic organelles Cytoplasmic organelles are "little organs" that are suspended in the cytoplasm of the cell. Each type of organelle has a definite structure and a specific role in the function of the
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

Unit 2_Cells_Tissues_Membranes - Cell Structure and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online