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Eukaryotic Cells Essay

1860 words - 7 pages

Eukaryotic Cells
The cell may be regarded as the basic unit of an organism, it carries
out the essential processes that make the organism a living entity.
All cells share certain structural and functional features and they
are of almost universal occurrence in living organisms. Biologists
have devoted a great deal of attention to its structure and the
processes that go on inside it. They have recognised a major
distinction between two types of cells, Eukaryotic cells that have a
nucleus and Prokaryotic cells that do not have a nucleus. There are
many other differences between these two cells, in particular
eukaryotic cells have a full complement of membrane bound organelles
in their cytoplasm and are characterised by the possession of these
organelles. Eukaryotic cells are typical of a great majority of
organisms including all animal and plant cells and it is this type of
cell that we will be looking at. They are multicellular which means
they are composed of groups of specialised cells each performing a
particular function. They also show a high level of structural
complexity that allows an elaborate division of labour, which has
enabled them to reach high orders of functional complexity. The
biological membrane and the various molecular complexes embedded in
them must now be viewed as playing a central role in both cell
structure and its functions

All cells whether animal or plant has a cell surface that is known as
the plasma membrane. It is composed of a continuous double layer of
phospholipids within which protein molecules are embedded.
Phospholipids are polar molecules and are important in the formation
of the plasma membranes, the non polar hydrophilic tails attract each
other keeping the membrane relatively firm and in place. The formation
of the proteins and phospholipids is called the lipid bylayer. The
proteins take the form of globules dotted about in a mosaic pattern
with some being attached to the urface of the membrane while others
penetrate into it to varying extents. Some of these proteins act as
enzyme catalysing chemical reactions within the membrane and also as
pumps and channels transporting molecules into and out of the cell.
The plasma membrane is perforated by pores and allows substances to
pass in and out of the cell by Diffusion Active Transport, osmosis,
Endocytosis and Exocytosis. The external cell membrane contains
lipids and proteins combined with sugar molecules called Glycolipids
and Glycoproteins. The sugar molecules only attach to the outside of
the cell membrane and form what is known as the Glycocalyx or cell
coat. The Glycocalyx is sticky and enables animal cells to adhere to
each other. In the development of organisms cells must migrate from
one region to another and recognise what...

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