Cells: Behind the membrane
Cells are said to be the building blocks of life. They are the bricks and mortar that bring the universe together as a whole. While cells are microscopic, they’re an integral part of life. The chemical composition of cells must be maintained for the continued life of any cell. This area of science is known as cell biology.
Scientists have been interested in cell biology since the advent of microscopes in the 1800’s, though it has only been in the past 100 years that cancer and stem cell research have become a hot topic of debate.
Campbell Reece Myers, (2006) states that all cells share certain characteristics. For example, every cell is enclosed by a membrane that regulates what goes in and out of the cell. And every cell uses DNA, as its genetic information.
There are two main forms of cells: prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. The cell types that are organised into the prokaryotic group consist of only bacteria cells. All other forms of life are composed of eukaryotic cells. These two forms of cells are easily distinguished by their very different features.
Eukaryotic cells are very complex in their structure. They have many organelles and have a distinct nucleus containing all the genetic information within the cells DNA. Prokaryotic cells are much simpler and are generally smaller than eukaryotic cells. In a prokaryotic cell, the DNA is not separated from the rest of the cell. Unlike any eukaryotic cells the DNA is not contained in a membrane bound nucleus, the DNA can be found floating freely within the cells cytoplasm. Prokaryote cells also lack the other kinds of membrane bound organelles that characterise eukaryote cells.
Although many cells may share some characteristics with each other such as organelles or functionality, it is important to remember that in reality there is no typical cell. All cells are unique to their environment and vary in size and shape.
All cells follow a certain...