why do we study cells and their components

The study of the cell is done on a molecular level; however, most of the processes within the cell are made up of a mixture of small organic molecules, inorganic ions, hormones, and. Approximately 75Б85% of the cell's volume is due to water making it an indispensable solvent as a result of its polarity and structure. These molecules within the cell, which operate as substrates, provide a suitable environment for the cell to carry out metabolic reactions and signalling. The cell shape varies among the different types of organisms, and are thus then classified into two categories:
and. In the case of eukaryotic cells Б which are made up of animal, plant, fungi, and protozoa cells Б the shapes are generally round and spherical, while for prokaryotic cells Б which are composed of bacteria and archaea Б the shapes are: spherical ( ), rods ( ), curved ( ), and spirals ( ). Cell biology focuses more on the study of eukaryotic cells, and their signalling pathways, rather than on prokaryotes which is covered under. The main constituents of the general molecular composition of the cell includes: proteins and lipids which are either free-flowing or -bound, along with different internal known as. This environment of the cell is made up of and regions which allows for the exchange of the above-mentioned molecules and ions.


The hydrophilic regions of the cell are mainly on the inside and outside of the cell, while the hydrophobic regions are within the of the cell membrane. The cell membrane consists of lipids and proteins, which accounts for its hydrophobicity as a result of being non-polar substances. Therefore, in order for these molecules to participate in reactions, within the cell, they need to be able to cross this membrane layer to get into the cell. They accomplish this process of gaining access to the cell via:, concentration gradients, and membrane channels. Inside of the cell are extensive internal sub-cellular membrane-bounded compartments called organelles. Б an associated pair of cylindrical shaped protein structures ( ) that organize and aid in forming the during in ( ) Б the part of the cell which separates the cells from the outside environment and protects the cell, as well as regulating what goes in and out of the cell Б extra layer of protection and gives structural support (only found in Б key for (only found in Б motile structure of having a, the. Б contents of the main fluid-filled space inside cells, also happen in this jelly-like substance.


Б protein filaments inside cells (, and (rough) Б major site of membrane (smooth) Б major site of Б motile structure of bacteria, and Б site of protein in the Б fundamental organizational structure of Б major energy-producing organelle by releasing energy in the form of Б contains chromosomes composed of, the building block of life. is important for dictating nuclear function. Б and protein Starch grain Б found in the cytoplasm of a typical plant cell, it stores of the plant. Б contain cell sap or other storage material. Б small membrane-bounded spheres inside cells which transport substances. Have you ever been ill? Even if it was a tummy bug it will have been your cells that were affected by the poisonous chemicals or toxins from bacteria cells in the bad food. You may know of someone who has been ill with a disease or disorder such as meningitis, malaria, diabetes, a type of cancer, cystic fibrosis, or Alzheimer s disease. All these diseases and disorders are caused by problems at a cell or molecular level. Physical damage such as a burn or broken bone also causes damage at cell level. By understanding how cells work in healthy and diseased states, cell biologists working in animal, plant and medical science will be able to develop new vaccines, more effective medicines, plants with improved qualities and through increased knowledge a better understanding of how all living things live.


Eventually it will be possible to produce a health forecast by analysing your database of genetic and cell information. Using this you will be able to take more control over your health in a preventive way. But cell biology is not just about disease. It has greatly assisted the human fertility programme. DNA testing has been used in archaeology to provide evidence that a living person is related to a long dead ancestor. In plant science it has been used to show that two plants that look different have the same genetic origins. Forensic medicine uses cell biology and DNA fingerprinting to help solve murders and assaults. Neither the courts of law nor the criminals can escape the importance of cell biology. Biotechnology uses techniques and information from cell biology to genetically modify crops to produce alternative characteristics; to clone plants and animals; to produce and ensure high quality food is available at lower costs; to produce purer medicines and in time organs for the many people who need transplants.


Cell biology is about all this and can make an exciting career. It is also important that everyone feels informed about how the increase in knowledge about cell biology could affect him or her and society in general. Society will have to make informed decisions about such things as growing organs for transplanting into humans and, in those areas where vitamin A deficiency causes blindness, growing rice modified to produce the vitamin. A basic understanding of cell biology including genetics will be as important as having some knowledge about computers and the Internet. SOMETHING TO THINK about: If you needed a kidney transplant and no donated human organ were available, would you refuse to have one from a pig specially developed to provide organs for humans? You are a rice farmer and a parent. You know that each year more than one million children die and another 124 million are made more susceptible to measles and diarrhoea due to shortage of vitamin A. You have heard about a new strain of genetically modified rice producing vitamin A is available. Would you grow it and let your family eat it?

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