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The Cell

- By Tejas Bhartiya

Cells are the fundamental building blocks of life. Every living thing is made up of cells. There are 2 major kinds of cells. These kinds are eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells. Within eukaryotic cells, we have 2 kinds of cells, plant cells, and animal cells. Major differences between these cells are that plant cells have cell walls and are able to do photosynthesis, while animal cells cannot. These cell walls are made of cellulose and are what gives plants their structure. Prokaryotic cells generally make up bacteria, fungi, and more. Within cells are organelles which all have different responsibilities that help the cell. For example, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and is the organelle that converts sugar into usable energy also known as ATP. We also have the nucleus which stores and protects DNA, or the instructions of humans. Ribosomes read a form of this DNA called RNA and build proteins from it. The plasma membrane is the gatekeeper of the cell and tells what can enter and exit the cell. Vacuoles are like storage tanks and anything from sugar to water, to wastes, are stored there. Chloroplasts, which are only in plant cells are what allow photosynthesis to take place. The endoplasmic reticulum has 2 parts: a smooth endoplasmic reticulum and a rough endoplasmic reticulum. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is covered with ribosomes which makes it rough while the smooth endoplasmic reticulum does not have any ribosomes. The endoplasmic reticulum is used to transport things throughout the cell. When things leave the endoplasmic reticulum they generally go to the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi apparatus is like the sorting center of the cell, it takes things coming from the endoplasmic reticulum and sends them to the place where they have to go. There are 2 kinds of organelles that help cells move. The first one is the flagellum. The flagellum protrudes from the cell and is similar to a tail. The other organelle that helps cells move is called cilia. These also protrude from the cell and are similar to feet but there are many of these in each cell. These are some of the most common organelles found in most cells.

© Tejas Bhartiya, 2020.

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