What Are Cells?

By Garrett Rogers

Why are cells important and what do they do?

Cells are important because they are what living things need to live. There are many different parts of a cell that are called organelles. But do all types of cells have the exact same size, shape, and organelles? No, cells come in all different sizes and shapes but they all do the same function. They work together to keep living organisms alive.

There is a Cell Theory? What Is It?

Yes, there is a cell theory. The theory is composed of three different parts:

  1. All living organisms are made of cells
  2. Cells come only from other living cells
  3. Cells carry out the basic functions that are needed to support life

This theory was made due to multiple scientific discoveries. It says what cells are and what they do in a nutshell.

What do cells create and what size are they?

The cells create different parts of an organism in this order:

  1. There is a Cell, the basic unit
  2. Then there is tissue (the cells connect)
  3. Next, there is a organ (The tissue connects)
  4. Fourth, There is an organ system (The organs work together)
  5. Finally, there is the organism (The organism is the most complex because everything is connected and works together)

The cell is the smallest part of that system and that is a good idea of how small a cell is. You need a microscope to see the cells.

Animal Cells: A Eukaryotic Cell

There are multiple organelles in an animal cell. They all do a specific job.

  • Cell Membrane: The cell membrane is

Eukaryotic vs Prokaryotic, Round 1

Eukaryotic cells: A Eukaryotic cell is a cell that has a Membrane-Bound Nucleus. That means that the Eukaryotic cell has DNA inside of its nucleus. This type of cell has different types of the cell like it is a group. The Eukaryotic cell includes: Animal cells, Plant cells and also Fungi cells.

Prokaryotic cells: A prokaryotic cell is a cell that does not have a Membrane-Bound Nucleus. That means that the DNA is not in the nucleus, it is just floating around inside of the cell. Like the Eukaryotic cell, Prokaryotic cells is a group of cells including: Bacteria cells and Archaea Bacteria cells.

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Animal Cell Organelles: Functions and Organelles

There are multiple different types of organelles in an animal cell. These are some of those organelles:

  • Nucleus: The nucleus is like the control center of the cell. It contains the DNA and also controls the other parts of the cell
  • Mitochondria: This is what makes the energy (ATP) in the cell. This organelle creates the energy and releases it for the organism to use.
  • Vacuole: This is the storage room in the cell. The vacuole is the part of the cell that contains water and nutrients for the cell. Unlike a plant cell, the vacuole is a small organelle while the plant's vacuole is very large.

More Animal Organelles and Functions

A few more animal cell organelles:

  • Cell Membrane: The cell membrane is like the Security guard of the cell. It is not a Cell wall (like some people think). The cell membrane lets certain things into the cell and releases toxins out of the cell (CO2)
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER): The endoplasmic reticulum is like the highway of a cell. The energy that was packaged by the Golgi apparatus. The packaged energy slides around the ER.
  • Cytoplasm: The cytoplasm is a jello like substance that suspends the organelles. Unlike what most people think, that the cytoplasm is a liquid, the cytoplasm is a liquid like solid. If it was a liquid, then the organelles would be damaged due to the fact that they would be flying around the cell.

The Final Organelle Countdown

There are three more organelles that are a part of the animal cell:

  • Golgi Apparatus: The Golgi apparatus packages the ATP (energy) that is sent to different parts of the organism. It works with the mitochondria and the ER to get ATP to its designated area.
  • Ribosomes: Ribosomes are the factories. They are the tiny little organelles that get the information from the nucleus to make a nutrient. That nutrient is protein, and organisms need protein to live.
  • Lysosomes: The lysosomes are like the recycling stations of the cell. They are the ones that pick up after the other organelle's mess. They take in waste and detoxify it to clean the cell.
An Introduction to Animal Cell and its organelles

Plant Cell Organelles and their functions

There is a plant cell too? What?! Does that one have organelles too? Yes, it does have organelles. There are a few different organelles than an animal cell and since I already explained the other organelles, I will explain the ones that are only to a plant cell.
Big image

What are the Organelles that are specifically for a plant cell?

There are three different organelles. They all have a very important job too. These are those organelles:

  • Cell Wall: No, a cell wall is not the same as a cell membrane (even though plants have that too!). A cell wall is like the walls, floor, and roof of a house. These three parts keep a house's shape. The cell wall keeps the shape of a plant cell. An animal cell looks like an unorganized blob while the plant cell looks like a rectangular prism. It has shape.
  • Chloroplast: The chloroplast is what helps plants do photosynthesis. The chloroplast takes in energy from the sun with CO2 (carbon dioxide) and makes food for the plant. But unlike the animal cell which creates carbon dioxide, the plant makes oxygen. We breathe in the oxygen and release the carbon dioxide because it is poisonous to our cells.
  • Vacuole: Yes, there is an animal cell vacuole but this one is different. Unlike the animal cell which has multiple tiny vacuoles, the plant cell has one very large vacuole. It takes in and stores nutrients and water that the cell may need.

Parts of a Plant Cell
Cells Cells - Parts of the Cell Rap

Well, how do cells make and release energy and oxygen and carbon dioxide?

Animal cells have a process called "Cellular Respiration" in which the cell makes and releases the things that it created. An animal cell has mitochondria do this work. The mitochondria takes in the chemicals it needs. It then uses those chemicals to create oxygen, and ATP. There is a chemical process called "photosynthesis" that is done by plants. It is when the chloroplast in the plant cell creates glucose (sugar), and oxygen. The mitochondria makes the energy needed for the plant cell to make the glucose and oxygen.

  • The chemical equation for cellular respiration: C6 H12 O6 + 6O2 ---> 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP (Energy)
  • Chemical Equation for Photosynthesis: 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP (energy) ---> C6 H12 O6 + 6O2

If I confused you...

There is a Crash Course Biology video about cellular respiration below and also a video about cells at the bottom.
ATP & Respiration: Crash Course Biology #7

That was a lot of information, so what are cells?

Cells are the basic units that make up all living things. They are like their own little organisms because they have to have energy, they need chemicals and they also reproduce. They reproduce by splitting or dividing into another cell. They do that through a certain chemical process.
What Are Cells?

If you would like to read more about the organelles and their functions, look at this link.