Do you know every living being, be it a bacteria, protozoa, pseudopodia, ant, worm, plant, or giant living being, if it has life, is composed of one basic unit? This unit is nothing but a cell.
Have you ever wondered about the survival of fishes and other organisms in water, plants and trees on land, animals and birds, and, importantly, humans? Although they all vary in their shapes, sizes, colours, habitats, and lifestyles, they still share one common thing among them, and that is life.
Table of Contents
What are Cells?
Cells are the basic structure or the building body of any living being, and in fact, the cell itself is a machine that can run a life, as it has various components that perform different functions and can produce the required components to survive.
Although cells may widely vary in their shapes, sizes, and numbers, they still have many common features, whether it is a unicellular (single cell) or multicellular. As they adapted to different environments, with the changes in time and climate, they have modified and evolved a lot.
Nerve cells are long and thin, can extend up to meters, and work in giving and receiving signals. Muscle cells have different roles and are of different types. In the same way, plant cells provide rigidity and structural support to the plants, the long trees have a few different cells that give them an outer woody structure.
Concept of Cells
Cells are the primary and vital unit of life. They are present in numerous shapes and sizes, though they are recognizable through microscopes, not with the naked eye. Cells are enclosed within a protective, selective membrane known as the cell membrane.
Likewise, the wall of a house protects us and maintains a boundary between the external and internal environment, the same is the role of the cell membrane or sometimes referred to as the plasma membrane.
Must Read: Discovery of Cell and Cell Theory
What is Plasma Membrane?
Plasma membrane functions as the barrier rather than the selective barrier. This means that it permits the entry of nutrients and the exit of waste matter. The internal environment of the cell is well arranged into specialized and distinct compartments (also known as organelles).
Each organelle is enclosed within a separate membrane. Moreover, it is always ready to perform its part of the role as soon as it receives the signals.
Out of all the organelles, the major one is the nucleus, which contains the genetic information of particular organisms. This genetic information is essential for cell and individual growth, as well as reproduction. There is only one nucleus in a cell, though there can be a number of other organelles.
Apart from the Nucleus, Mitochondria, Lysosomes, Ribosomes, Golgi bodies, and Endoplasmic Reticulum are the vital organelles present in a cell. But the most important factor is the platform upon which these organisms lie and perform their various functions. This platform is cytoplasm.
What is Cytoplasm?
The cytoplasm is water base fluid that maintains the interior environment of a cell. It is the place where all the cellular organelles are present. Also, it serves as a podium for various chemical reactions to take place. Other functions like cell expansion, growth, and replication are also carried out at this place of the cell. This is what we call cytoplasm.