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Cell Structure

In the study of cell biology, which is based on understanding all properties of a cell, cell structure is a critical topic as this details the anatomy of a cell. In order to fully understand the processes carried out by a cell, such as cellular respiration, and how a cell interacts with its environment, analyzing cell structure is an important first step.

When analyzing the structure of a cell, a cell can be broken up into different groups. One of these groups can be thought of as the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is the intracellular space of a cell, which is fluid in nature. It is within the cytoplasm that all of the vital organelles within a cell reside. For example, the endoplasmic reticulum and vacuoles are two organelles present within the cytoplasm of a eukaryotic cell.

Considering how the nucleus controls the entire cell and is such a powerful and vital organelle, it can be thought of as its own group. The nucleus not only controls all cellular activities, but it contains the entire cell genome.

Finally, the outer surface of a cell can be thought of as another group. This includes the cell membrane and cell wall. All cells contain a cell membrane, whereas not all cells possess a cell wall. A cell wall is found in all plants, along with some archaea, bacteria, fungi and algae. Clearly, cell structure does vary between different cell types. For example, prokaryotic cells are much simpler in nature and have a more primitive structure compared to eukaryotic cells.

Cell structure is a fundamental topic in biology. Understanding the cell structure of different cell types is imperative to many biological fields such as medicine, immunology and molecular biology. Through continued research, further advancements can be made in fully understanding the anatomy, biochemistry and physiology of a cell. 

Categories within Cell Structure

Cell Membranes and Cell Walls

Postings: 53

Membranes are cellular structures which separate the interior and exterior compartments of a cell or individual organelle, whereas the cell wall is required for structural support in only selective cell types.


Postings: 5

The cytoskeleton is found within the cytoplasm of a cell and is fundamental to the functioning and structure of a cell.

Cell Nucleus

Postings: 6

The nucleus of a cell is a membrane-bound organelle situated within the cytoplasm and can be thought of as the “brain” of a cell.

Intracellular Compartment

Postings: 0

The term intracellular compartment refers to the region which lies inside of the cell membrane and includes all of the organelles which are present within this domain.

Mitochondria and Chloroplasts

Postings: 1

Mitochondria and chloroplasts are membrane-bound organelles which are responsible for carrying out vital cellular functions: cellular respiration and photosynthesis.

Nitrosococcus Oceani and Nitrosopumilus Maritimus

1. What chemicals do Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus consume from their ocean environment? How does the abundance of these chemicals influence their success and abundance? What is the relationship between nutrient availability and natural selection, in general? 2. What chemical byproducts do each contribute?

Principles of Taxonomy: Prokaryotic Organisms

Analyze the paper by Urakawa et al. (2012) by considering the characteristics that allow us to classify the prokaryotic organisms in this study as belonging to different domains. Use the website: Review the definitions of Archaea and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Begin at http

Metabolic pathways, oil, and living things

Write a 3-4 page paper that addresses each of the following topics. Use subtitles and headings to organize your paper. Research your answers to the questions below using scholarly sources, including national, university, and government websites, publications, and scientific journals. Cite your references throughout and include a

Glycolyis and Cellular Respiration

Answer the following questions in a 2- to 3-page paper: 1. What is the starting molecule in glycolysis (i.e., what is being metabolized. Be specific)? 2. Define these terms: substrate, enzyme, ATP, and describe why they are important in cellular respiration. 3. What do these enzymes do, generally speaking? Would the reac

Muscle contraction

Review the videos below on the steps of muscle contraction: 1) Events at the neuromuscular junction 2) Excitation-contraction coupling 3) Crossbridge cycle These videos illustrate the steps that occur for skeletal muscle cells, which are very similar to cardiac, heart, muscle cells which contract in

Effect of Oil on Ocean Life

PowerPoint Slide Explain the results of one of the studies conducted to assess the effect of oil on ocean life, summarized in this article: To develop your explanation, include: [Slide 1] A diagram of a hydrocarbon. Explain its relevance to oil in

Plant and Animal Organelles

List the three organelles plants cells have that animal cells do not have and the animal cell organelle plants do not have. Discuss the function of the three unique plant cell organelles.


1. A type of cell called a lymphocyte makes proteins that are exported from the cell. You can track the path of these proteins within the cell from production through export by labeling them with radioactive isotopes. Identify which of the following structures would be radioactively labeled in your experiment, listing them in th

Compare Cell Parts to Parts of a Factory

Compare cell parts to parts of a factory. What part of a factory would be a nucleus? Nucleolus? Cell Membrane? Ribosome? Chromatin? Mitochondria? Endoplasmic Reticulum? Lysosome? Vacule? Golgi Bodies?

Why we Study Cellular Components

Could you help with an assignment by commenting on the following question?: Why should we study the cell and its components? Please give specific examples and details.

angiosperms and gymnosperms

Please answer these questions asap. 1. a) Distinguish between gram-negative and gram postive bacteria. What external structures may be present in both? b) Draw and label a complete virus. 2. Describe what is meant by alternation of generations. 3. Compare and contrast angiosperms and gymnosperms. 4. Name the f

Osmosis/ active transport of water and glucose into a cell

In a cell, there is less water on the inside and less glucose on the outside. Water wants to enter the cell and the cell wants to transport in more glucose. Relative to the cell, what type of environment is this? How will the cell be able to have both the water and glucose enter?

Organelle Analogies

I need help finding analogies for the following: 1) cytoplasm 2) nucleus 3) chromosomes 4) vacuole 5) cytoskeleton 6) lysosome 7) centriole 8) cilia The analogy has to represent what the cell's function is. I am having difficulty doing this. Any suggestions?

Energy and Metabolism (Photosynthesis & Respiration); Cell Structure

Bacterial cells are prokaryotic. Select two structures of bacterial cells and briefly describe them; what do they look like, what are they composed of? Then, explain how these two structures allow bacterial cells to survive as unicellular organisms. There are many examples of eukaryotic cells. Algae, Fungi, Plants, and Animals

Cell theory and the Microscope

Choose one theory-spontaneous generation theory or cell theory-and select one statement that corresponds to the theory you want to refute or support: Spontaneous generation theory 1. Frogs come from muddy soil because they always appear in that environment. 2. Flies come from rotten meat because they always appear where

Examination and processing of the crime scene

I need help getting started. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you. SCENE Joe stopped for a beer at the Turn-a-Round Lounge in Smalltown on his way home from work. He ran into his ex-girlfriend, Michelle, and her new boyfriend, Sam. Joe and Sam got involved in a heated confrontation, and bottles and fists started to fly

Cells and their Components ~ Essay Help

I need help with getting started with my essay, titled "Why We study the Cell and Its Components." It has to have correct grammar, etc. and it has to utilize vocabulary from the chapter, and demonstrate understanding of key concepts.

Membrane Fluidity

I need help this this problem. Please explain what happen in each case. 9) A bacterium is suddenly expelled from a warm human intestine into the cold world outside. Predict what kind of adjustments the bacterium might make to maintain the same level of membrane fluidity? A. decrease the amount of glycolipids in the membrane

Loss of Mitochondria by a Cell

In Madeleine L'Engle's children's novel A Wrinkle in Time, the mitochondria in one of the characters starts to die. Describe what would happen to people who lost their mitochondria, and explain why it would happen.

DNP & Photosynthesis in plants

Please help with the following problem. Dinitrophenol (DNP) is an "uncoupler" that causes membranes to become permeable to H+. Explain what would happen if DNP was added to plants that were carrying out photosynthesis. Would the light and dark reactions still proceed? Include in your answer whether or not O2, glucose, ATP,

What is endosymbiosis?

Explain the relationship between ancient bacteria and cyanobacteria which lead to the formation of chloroplasts and mitochondria.

Cell Biology Multiple Choice questions

1. Protein insertion into the mammalian ER membrane is typically a. cotranslational c. pretranslational b. post-translational d. quasitranslational 2. In N-glycosylation of proteins in the ER lumen, sugar(s) are added to the nascent chain at

Cell membrane structure and function

1. The structure of the plasma membrane is best described as a. a single layer of phospholipids, in which the phosphate groups face the interior of the cell b. a single layer of phospholipids, in which the phosphate groups face the extracellular space c. lipid bilayer, in which the phosphate groups on the phos

differences between the patient's and control mitochondria

A 26 years old patient initially presented with a history of fatigability dating back to early childhood. Even very mild exercise resulted in a rapid exhaustion. After 4 minutes on a bicycle ergometer, the patient's blood lactate concentration rose from 0.8mM to 10mM;it dropped slowly after the end of the exercise but was still

Analysis of a Cell-Surface Receptor

Questions: 1. For Part A, please explain in detail the results in Data Analysis and why they turned out as they did? 2. For Part B, please explain in detail the results in Data Analysis and why they turned out as they did? 3. One of the simple sugars (galactose or mannose) used in this exercise should have inhibited Con

Cells, cell biology & microscopes

1. In an inherited condition called glycogen cardiomyopthy teenagers develop muscle weakness which affects heart as well as other muscles. Samples of the affected muscle cells contain huge lysosomes, swollen with the carbohydrate glycogen. How might this condition arise? 2. Why does a muscle cell conatin many mitochondrion

Several questions

G. Draw and label an in vitro cellular aging curve-Phase I, II, and III. H. What are the typical conditions for growing human cells outside the body? Compare use of serum vs. defined medium. I. Define a population doubling-in vitro. How many can you expect from a human, chicken, and mouse? J. Explain pulse-labeled