Revision: Cellular Structure and Function

This post was written for my biology students as revision for the unit on cellular structure and function.  Definitions for keywords were adapted from Biology (Glencoe, 2008).

Short Definitions

  1. Cell – the basic structural and functional unit of all living things
  2. Eukaryotic cell (or eukaryote) – a cell containing a nucleus and organelles, ~100 times the size of a prokaryotic cell
  3. Prokaryotic cell (prokaryote) – a cell without a nucleus or organelles e.g. unicellular organisms such as bacteria
  4. Nucleus – the cell’s “managing” organelle which contains most of the cell’s DNA
  5. Organelles – specialized structures in eukaryotic cells that carry out specific cell functions e.g. ribosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts etc.
  6. Plasma membrane – the selectively permeable boundary of a cell that is comprised of a phospholipid bilayer (PLBL) and other components (cholesterol, protein, carbohydrates)
  7. DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid, codes information for protein synthesis in the cell, mostly found in the nucleus of a eukaryote or in the cytoplasm of a prokaryote, mostly found in the shape of a double helix
  8. Nuclear envelop – the selectively permeable double membrane boundary of the nucleus
  9. PLBL (phospholipid bilayer) – the part of the plasma membrane consisting of two layers of phospholipids arranged tail-to-tail
  10. Selective permeability – the property of allowing only particular substances to pass through (in and out) of a boundary
  11. Phospholipid – a molecule that is made up of a hydrophilic head which consists of a phosphate group and a tail which consists of chains of fatty acids.
  12. Hydrophillia – the physical property of a substance having the tendency to attract water
  13. Hydrophobia – the physical property of a substance having the tendency to repel water
  14. TEM – transmission electron microscope
  15. SEM – scanning electron microscope
  16. STM – scanning tunneling electron microscope
  17. AFM – atomic force microscope
  18. Transport protein – a component of the plasma membrane made up of proteins that allow certain substances to enter and leave the cell
  19. Microfilaments – components of a cell’s cytoskeleton made up of thin protein threads that help give the cell shape and enable the entire cell of parts of the cell to move
  20. Microtubules – components of a cell’s cytoskeleton made up of long, hollow protein cylinders that form a rigid skeleton for the cell and assists in moving substances within the cell
  21. Cell wall – an inflexible barrier that provides support and protection of a plant cell
  22. Centrioles – organelles comprised of microtubules that function during cell division
  23. Chloroplasts – organelles found in plant cells that capture light to  undergo photosynthesis (conversion of light into chemical energy)
  24. Cilia (singular: cilium) – short, numerous hair-like projections found on the outside of the plasma membrane of some eukaryotic cells that aid in motion
  25. Cytoplasm – the semifluid material found inside cells
  26. Cytoskeleton – the network of microtubules and microfilaments that help anchor organelles inside cells.
  27. ER (Endoplasmic reticulum) – the highly folded membrane that is the site of protein synthesis.
  28. Smooth ER – the area of the ER where no ribosomes are attached
  29. Rough ER – the area of the ER where ribosomes are attached
  30. Flagella (singular: flagellum) – whip-like projections that are longer than cilia found on the outside of the plasma membrane of some eukaryotic cells that aid in motion
  31. Golgi apparatus – a flattened stack of membranes that modifies, sorts, and packages proteins into vesicles (also called sacs)
  32. Lysosomes – vesicles/sacs that contain substances that digest excess or worn-out organelles and food particles.
    (lys “to break” (Greek) + some “body” (Greek))
  33. Mitochondria (singular: mitochondrion) – organelles that convert sugars into usable energy, often called the “powerhouses” of cells
  34. Nucleolus – the site of protein synthesis within the nucleus of a eukaryote
  35. Ribosomes – organelles made of RNA and protein which function in protein synthesis
  36. Vacuoles – sacs found in mostly plant cells (sometimes animal cells) used to store food, enzymes and materials needed by a cell, some vacuoles store waste products
  37. RNA – ribonucleic acid, unlike DNA, RNA mostly doesn’t code for protein synthesis and is also usually single stranded and shorter than DNA
  38. Cellulose – the carbohydrate that makes up the cell wall of plant cells
  39. Chlorophyll – the green chemical found in the chloroplasts of plants that aid in the capture of sunlight for the purpose of photosynthesis

Suggested YouTube Videos:

ติวชีวะ เซลล์ ม.ปลาย ตอนที่ 1 โพสต์โดย Listeriaumbrella
(แนะนำเริ่มดูจาก ~29:30 ถึง ~54:30 ไม่ต้องดูวีดีโอท้างหมดเลย)

Cell Organelles And Their Function Animation posted by ifayaq

Cell Structure and Function posted by TEA Biotechnology

Cell Structure and Function posted by wanakscience

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2 Responses to Revision: Cellular Structure and Function

  1. Fred Harvey says:

    Now that I know all of these definitions, how shall I use them?

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