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13 A Cells And Movement Of Materials Essay

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13A – Cells and Movement of Materials

P1: Describe the microstructure of a typical animal cell and the main function of the cells components

The microstructure of a typical animal cell is made up of various components, all of which play a vital role within the body. Each component has its own specific role that it performs in order for the cell to function and maintains the cell membrane. The main components of the cell include the cell membrane, cytoplasm, the nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear membrane, endoplasmic reticulum (smooth ER and rough ER), mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, ribosomes and vacuoles.

a) The cell membrane – The cell membrane otherwise known as the plasma membrane is located on the surface of a typical animal cell. The cell membrane is made up of a phospholipid bilayer and is a selectively permeable membrane that allows substances to pass in and out of the cell. This selectively permeable membrane means that only water, gases and other nutrients are able to pass through whilst keeping toxins out. The lipid bilayer of the cell membrane aids in the protection of the cell, as it helps to control the movement of particles that pass in and out of the cell. The structure of the phospholipid is made up of hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails.

b) Cytoplasm – The cytoplasm is a gel-like substance that is clear in colour made up of 80% water and also contains enzymes, salts, organelles and other organic molecules. It consists of all the contents outside of the nucleus and is encased within the cell membrane. The cytoplasm aids in moving materials around the cell, and is a solvent that allows nutrients and waste products within it to dissolve. The organelles inside of the cell are suspended in the fluid which is contained in the cell, otherwise known as cytosol. Cytoplasm contains molecules which aids in breaking down waste, and is responsible of metabolic activity.

c) Nucleus – The nucleus is bound by a double membrane, also known as the nuclear envelope. This membrane separates the contents of the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The nucleus contains the cells genetic information (DNA) and is responsible for protein synthesis, cell division, growth and reproduction. It is the most prominent organelle in the cell.

d) Nucleolus – The nucleolus is contained within the nucleus and is not membrane bound. Its main function is to produce ribosomes which are an integral part in the process of protein synthesis.

e) Nuclear Membrane – The nuclear membrane, otherwise known as the nuclear envelope is a double membrane that surrounds the nucleus and separates the DNA contained in the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The nuclear membrane contains pores which regulate the movement of substances in and out of the cell between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.

f) Endoplasmic Reticulum – Is a network of tubules, sheets and flattened sacs that perform various functions in the cell. There are two types of ER that vary in structure and function known as rough ER and smooth ER. Rough ER: Rough ER is made out of a series of flattened sacs. This type of ER is called rough due to the ribosomes which are attached to the side of the membrane that is covered in cytoplasm. Rough ER produces membranes, proteins and antibodies; and in pancreatic cells rough ER produces insulin. Rough ER and Smooth ER are usually interlinked, and the membranes and proteins made by the Rough ER are then transferred to the Smooth ER before being moved to other locations where they are needed. Smooth ER: This type of ER is called Smooth ER due to the lack of ribosomes. Smooth ER has a variety of functions that is performs, of which includes lipid synthesis and in brain cells it synthesizes male and female hormones. Smooth ER also serves as an area of which to transport the various substances made by ER to their destinations. g) Mitochondria – Mitochondria are rod shaped organelles found in the nucleus and are bound by a double membrane; the outer membrane and the inner membrane, unlike other organelles which only have one. Mitochondria are the cells power producers and are responsible for cellular respiration. They convert sugars into ATP which is used by cells in order for them to live, grow and reproduce. They are also responsible for cell death.

h) Golgi Apparatus – The Golgi apparatus’ structure is made up of a series of flattened membranes, known as cisternae which help to protect against cell destruction. The Golgi apparatus process and package proteins and lipids which are synthesized by the c...

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