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This tutorial will teach you the characteristics of the parts of the cell. Before we learn about thefunctions of the cell, let‟s learn about the history of the cell. In 1665, the Englishscientist, Robert Hooke, first noted the existence of cells. This discovery was founded when Hookeplaced a thin slice of cork though his microscope. When looking through a microscope he noticedthere were many small boxes, which reminded him of cells in a monastery. From here, the genesisof the naming the „cell‟ was born.The Cell Theory consists of three basic points: all living things are made of cells, the cell is thesmallest living thing that can perform all the functions of life, and all cells must come frompreexisting cells. (Source) Understanding cells are the key to learning about life itself, becausecells are the most basic unit of life.
There are two types of cells: animal and plant. There are many operational and physicaldifferences between the plant and animal cells. Moreover, they are both living things, so thereare basic functions are the same. Throughout this tutorial, you will be learning about thecharacteristics of the cell. Pay close attention because there will be a quiz to follow at the endof the tutorial.To help you make real world connections to a cell, this tutorial is going to compare it to a factory.Imagine a factory designing the latest piece of technology, a new tablet, iPhone 10, or the iPad 8.It does not matter what the factory makes, because the majority of them are set up the sameway. Every factory must have walls, production lines, an executive department for the CEO, anda finishing department to prepare the product for shipping and packing. Along with the factorysending out their products, they are also receiving materials.
The Plasma Membrane is the “shipping and receiving” department of the cell. It regulates whatenters and leaves the cell. In a factory, this would include the incoming or outgoing mail andpackages. These packages handlers would have to make contact with the external environment.The receptionist workers would allow communication between all of the departments. Thereceptionist is also the face of the factory because they are the first person an individual noticeswhen they enter the building. Located all around the cell, or factory would be the securityworkers checking IDs, and determining who is admitted into the factory and who is not allowedinto the factory. In a cell all of these jobs are performed by the Plasma Membrane.
The Nucleus would be the Chief Executive Officer or CEO of the factory. The nucleus controlsevery aspect of the factory, and there are many responsibilities. The CEO would have to keeptrack of all the blueprints, tell the workers which products to build, and when to build them.The nucleus controls all cell activity along with determining what proteins will be made. Theblueprints in the factory have been around ever since the factory was created. Many of theblueprints will be out of date and it is the CEO‟s job to find the precise plans, replicatethem, and make sure they are sent out to the assembly line at the proper time.
The Cytoplasm is where all of the vigorous physical work takes place, because ithappens on the cell‟s factory floor. The work of the cytoplasm falls underneath manycategories, such as production, maintenance, and energy transformation. There aremany members of this production team. Continue the tutorial to meet all of theother factory jobs. Cytoplasm refers to everything among the cell membrane and thenuclear membrane.
Let’s practice a few of the definitions we learned:What cell organelle acts as the shipping/receiving department? Othercharacteristics of it include regulating what enters and leaves the cell andwhere the cell makes contact with the external environmentA. Plasma membraneB. NucleusC. Cytoplasm
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The Endoplasmic Reticulum or ER are workers who are greatly experiencedtradespeople, and they receive a higher salary than their co-workers. Theseworkers are able to depict the blueprints the CEO has given to them, so theydo not create the designs.The ER expands from the nuclear membrane to the plasma membrane. Itfunctions as an alleyway through the cytoplasm, as a support structure forthe addition of other organelles, and as a workplace for the ribosomes.
The Ribosomes are the factory workers who build the proteins, and theyare manufactured by the nucleolus. The ribosomes are the workers in theassembly line. The ribosomes are attached to the rough ER. Continue thetutorial to find out how the final handling takes place.
The Golgi Apparatus is the department where all the finishing touches aremade to the products built on the assembly line. These workers must bevery meticulous when inspecting the products for flaws. They may makeminor adjustments or clean any additional material. This would be thefinishing and packaging department.
Lysosomes are an essential cell organelle produced by the Golgiapparatus, which contains powerful digesting enzymes. In a factory, theirjob would be the maintenance crew. Lysosomes are responsible forbreaking down and absorbing materials taken in by the cell. Just as amaintenance worker would take apart old machinery and replace it. Ifsomeone is able to sneak past security, the lysosomes are able to catchthem, and kick them out! They do not have the most glamorous role, butthey serve a vital role.
The Cytoskeleton maintains the cell shapes, just as supportingbeams, walls, ceilings, and floors would do. Numerous protein fibers act assupport structures.
Quiz Time!What organelle prepares proteins for use or export?A. LysosomesB. Golgi apparatusC. Cytoskeleton
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Power is a necessity for all factories to maneuver. Most factories havepower plants in which generators burn fuel to produce heat. The heat isused to make steam, which is then used to make electricity.Building proteins are the main function of cells, but in order for this tooperate; a cell must have an energy source in a form which the cell can use.Mitochondria and Chloroplasts are responsible for transforming one formof energy into another. This would be the power plant of the factory.
Now it is time for your quiz. Please refer to the following link: Quiz
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