Cells160 - Cell 1 Just as the atom is the fundamental unit...

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

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Cell - 1 Just as the atom is the fundamental unit of matter, the cell is the fundamental unit of living organisms. Each cell is unique, composed of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and other substances, organized into an orderly structural and functional unit. We shall, in this chapter, see how the structure of cells and, in particular, the structure of cell components, facilitates the functioning of cells. History of the cell The study of cells dates back more than three hundred years, coinciding with the development of microscopes. As scientists over the years learned more about cells, a group of common characteristics was developed which we call the Cell Theory. Our use today of more sophisticated microscopes and research on biochemical cell activities reinforces these premises. The Cell Theory 1. Every living organism is made up of one or more cells. 2. Cells are the structural and functional unit of living organisms. The smallest living organisms are single cells, and cells comprise the functional units of multicellular organisms. 3. All cells arise from preexisting cells. Basic Cell Features (Common to All Cells) Plasma (cell) membrane The plasma membrane is the boundary between the cell and its environment. The plasma membrane isolates the cell, regulates what enters and leaves the cell, and allows for interaction with other cells. The plasma membrane is comprised of phospholipid layers with proteins embedded throughout. The diversity of proteins found within membranes is responsible for most membrane activity. We will discuss membrane structure and function a bit later. Genetic material: nucleus or nucleoid Each cell contains genetic molecules: (DNA), which stores the instructions for that cell's structure and function, and RNA molecules, which perform a number of functions in cells, including carrying DNA instructions for protein synthesis. The cell's DNA may be found within a membrane - bounded nucleus, (eukaryotic organisms – plants, animas, protists and fungi) or simply concentrated in a region of the cytoplasm called the nucleoid (prokaryotic organisms - Eubacteria and Archaebacteria). Whether DNA is within a nucleus or not is a fundamental cell organizational difference in the classification of life. Cytoplasm Except for its DNA structures, the cytoplasm includes the fluid matrix (called the cytosol) inside the plasma membrane in which everything else in the cell, such as internal membranes, particles and membrane-bounded structures, called organelles, are suspended.
Background image of page 1

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

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Cell - 2 Cell Organization and Cell Dimensions Most cells are very small – smaller than we can see with our unaided eye. While the benefits of a cellular organization seem fairly clear, we must look more closely at how a cell functions to understand why most cells are very small, and why multicellular organisms are comprised of many, many microscopic cells, rather than just a few enormous ones. Each cell needs to perform a number of functions while maintaining a pretty
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.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 24

Cells160 - Cell 1 Just as the atom is the fundamental unit...

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