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14 CHAPTER 3: CELLULAR FORM AND FUNCTION Chapter Overview Introduction Chapter 3 investigates the next level in the organizational hierarchy of the organism: the cell’s organelles, membranes, cytoskeleton, and inclusions. These cell parts are organized from aggregations of different types of polymers: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. The chapter encompasses a discussion of the functions of each of the major organelles as well as that of the plasma membrane. The author details many aspects of the functions of the cell membrane, especially cross-membrane transport mechanisms. Key Concepts Here are some concepts that students should have a better understanding of after reading this chapter: the historical development of the cell theory; modern insights into the cell theory as these have accompanied technological improvements; the components of the plasma membrane and their functions, especially phospholipids and proteins; the nature and functions of the glycocalyx, cytoskeleton, and cell surface extensions; passive mechanisms for cross-membrane transport particularly diffusion, osmosis, channels, facilitated diffusion, and carriers; the concept of second messengers is introduced; active transport mechanisms, including symport and antiport systems, cotransport, phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and exocytosis; and the functions in brief of the organelles such as the nucleus, ribosomes, Golgi complex, lysosomes, mitochondria, and centrioles. Transparencies Topics for Discussion 1. What are the different patterns of cross-membrane transportation? 2. How will the particular cross-membrane transport mechanism vary depending upon whether a material is water soluble, fat soluble, or insoluble? 3. List some everyday examples of diffusion. 4. Why is it that some people call the cell membrane the cell’s “window to the world”? 5. Compare and contrast the uses of electron and light microscopes. Ask the students to ponder how our worldview would be different had these inventions never been made. 6. Some blood parasites hide from the immune system by mimicking the glycocalyx. Related Readings Balman, A. and R.J. Akhurst. 2004. Dangerous liaisons. Nature 428: 271–272. Growth factors and cancer. Bayley, H. 1997. Building doors into cells. Sci. Am . 277 (3): 62–67. This article is about using artificially- inserted pores into cell membranes. Deretic, P. and D.J. Kliansky. 2008. How cells clean house. Sci. Am . 298 (5): 74–81. The main idea here is autophagy or the methods by which cells clean up disused parts of the cell. The role of lysosomes and the application of these events to human health are also discussed. Foulkes, W.D. 2007. p53—master and commander.
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course BIO 102 taught by Professor William during the Spring '11 term at Harvard.

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