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BIOL 200
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Unit 1 Notes Topic 1: Cell Organization and Organelles - Critically discuss the classic definitions of cells and organelles o Cells are membrane bound autonomous units capable of carrying out essential life processes:  Maintain stable internal environment with concentration of ions and molecules different from the outside  Can assimilate and transform material  Reproduce (usually)  Can maintain itself o Viruses are not cells because they cannot maintain themselves, they require a host cell. Viruses are basically a capsule of genetic information that they inject into a cell to hijack. o Mitochondria and Chloroplasts are not cells as they are organelles that require the host cell to survive. Although they evolved from prokaryotic bacteria, they have lost the ability to survive outside of the cell o Organelles can be defined as:  Components of cells (a specialized subcellular structure) that is specialized to carry out a specific function  Working with other organelles to carry out tasks  Membrane-bound mostly – with exceptions such as ribosomes  Cannot survive outside the cell - Describe the major classes of eukaryotic cell organelles and their functions o Nucleus  Contains molecules of DNA, which are extremely long polymers that encode the genetic information of the organism o Endoplasmic Reticulum  This is the site where most cell membrane components , as well as materials destined for export from the cell are made o Golgi Apparatus  Receives and often chemically modifies the molecules made in the endoplasmic reticulum and then directs them to the exterior of the cell or various locations inside the cell o Mitochondrion  Mitochondria are generators of chemical energy for the cell. They harness the energy from the oxidation of food molecules, such as sugars, to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This process is called cellular respiration o Chloroplasts  Chloroplasts perform photosynthesis, they trap the energy of sunlight in chlorophyll molecules and use this energy to drive the manufacture of energy- rich sugar molecules. Plant cells can then extract this stored chemical energy when they need it o Cytoskeleton  This governs the internal organization of the cell as well as its external features as the cytoskeleton is a network of filaments criss-crossing the cytoplasm o Ribosomes  They make the protein molecules o Lysosomes and Peroxisomes  Lysosomes are organelles in which intracellular digestion occurs, releasing nutrients from food particles and breaking down unwanted molecules for recycling or excretion  Peroxisomes provide a contained environment for reactions in which hydrogen peroxide is generated and degraded o Vacuole  Plant cells usually contain one large vacuole whereas animal cells have many smaller ones  Vacuoles are organelles, and their function is to perform storage and removal functions o Cytoplasm  The site of many chemical reaction
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