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Cells: Anatomy and Physiology

Cells: Anatomy and Physiology

Introduction: Cells are the basic unit of all living things. They operate as tiny factories to produce the proteins that produce and organism's traits. They also have genetic material inside of them that guides this production. Individual cells can range in size from microscopic to those that can be held in your hand. In multicellular organisms, cells can work together to form tissues and can also differentiate and specialize to have specific functions.

This diagram represents a typical animal cell with the different organelles labeled.
Animal Cell

Some of the organelles found within the cell include:
the nucleus (B) - this is the control center of the cell and contains all of the genetic information.
the cytoplasm (H) - this is a jelly-like substance that bathes and protects the organelles. It is found within the cell membrane.
the nucleolus (A) - this structure is found inside of the nucleus and is responsible for the production of ribosomes.
the Golgi apparatus (L) - this stack of flattened sacs is responsible for the transport of materials out of the cell. Things like proteins and waste products are moved by it.
the endoplasmic reticulum (E.R.) (C) - this structure moves materials around the cell to where they are needed.
the cell membrane (M) - made of lipids, this structure acts as a barrier between the internal and external environments of the cell. It allows certain materials to pass freely though itself, but others need help or are not allowed at all.

Directions for this Lesson: Answer the practice questions and then watch the videos to learn more about the different parts of a cell and how cells differ in different organisms.

Required Video: