Cell facts – well, we are nowhere even close to the end. There is a lot (literally, a LOT) to write. So, here is our third installment of facts about cells. As mentioned before, we will keep this list as a mix of facts about plant cells and animal cells. In case you are looking for a complete set of differences between plant cells and animal cells, we will create a table but not now. Once we are done writing about these facts (actually a few more articles), we will create the table. Later, we intend to pick up each and every part of a cell and write descriptive facts about them. Sounds good? So, for now let us stick with what we have been doing…
Awesome Cell Facts: 1-5
1. Both plant cells and animal cells have something known as Golgi Body or Golgi Apparatus. This too is an organelle.
2. The Golgi Apparatus works similar to that of a company’s receiving and shipping department. The job of the Golgi Body is to first sort and then modify and finally package all the large molecules that either the cell secrets or uses internally for a wide range of functions.
3. Golgi Apparatus is not present in Prokaryotic cells because it is an organelle (membrane-bound structure).
4. Ever seen pancakes? Stack them up and what you see is the shape of the Golgi Apparatus. Basically, the Golgi Body is nothing but piled up flattened sacs, each of which are bounded by membrane.
5. Along with that unusual looking flattened sac pile that is known as the Golgi Body, what you will also notice is a bunch of small particle-like structures surrounding the apparatus. These are called Vesicles, which are also membrane-bound.
Awesome Cell Facts: 6-10
6. What do Vesicles do? They basically contain molecules (various types of molecules). These Vesicles are spherical in shape. They have various functions but one of the commonest function you will find is that they transport molecules either from Endoplasmic Reticulum to Golgi Body or from Golgi Body to other destinations.
7. The cells (of course the Eukaryotic ones) contain what is called Mitochondria. Resembling a sausage in terms of shape, the Mitochondria is known as the powerhouse of the cell. Though Mitochondria is actually present in every type of Eukaryotic cell, there are some exceptions. For instance, mature red blood cells of mammalians do not have Mitochondria.
8. Wondering why Mitochondria is called the powerhouse of the cells? That’s because they perform cellular respiration, that is, they are responsible for producing energy from food particles.
9. Cells have something called Nucleus. Only Eukaryotic cells have Nucleus. It is actually a cell’s command center. Put a cell under a microscope and you will find a dark region. That is the Nucleus.
10. If you see properly through a microscope, you will notice a darker spot on the already dark nucleus. That darker spot is the Nucleolus. It is this Nucleolus which is responsible for manufacturing the Ribosomes.
Awesome Cell Facts: 11-15
11. This Nucleus is surrounded by something called the Nuclear Envelope. This envelope is a double membrane structure with space inside the membranes. This space is what connects with the Lumen in Endoplasmic Reticulum (read our previous article).
12. There are tiny openings on the Nuclear Envelope. Those openings are know as the Nuclear Pores. These pores are responsible for regulation of molecule transportation between the Nucleus and the Cytoplasm.
13. The Nucleus plays a very important role in directing every cellular activity by directly controlling protein synthesis. In case you are wondering what proteins do, here is what you need to know for the time being. Everything that a cell does is controlled by proteins, which are basically chemical compounds. They are extremely critical because cells and each and every part of the cells are made out of proteins.
14. Inside the Nucleus is a special type of molecule called the DNA. It has a double helix structure and stores the information required for protein making. DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid.
15. This DNA has something called nitrogen bases. These bases have special arrangement and each arrangement a specific instruction.
Awesome Cell Facts: 16-20
16. Plant cells and animal cells share a lot in common. However, there are major differences as well. For instance, a plant cell will have Plastids – which are basically organelles. These Plastids are not found in animal cells. There are different types of Plastids. For instance, Chloroplasts, Chromoplasts, Amyloplasts etc.
17. Chloroplasts for instance are designed for converting carbon dioxide and water in sugar using a process known as Photosynthesis.
18. Chromoplasts on the other hand are known for storing pigment molecules. Have you ever noticed that some plants have bright yellow and orange colors? Well, that’s because of the Chromoplasts.
19. Vacuoles are another thing that you can find in plant cells. These Vacuoles are basically large vesicles. There are some plants in which 90% of all the space found in their cells are covered by these Vacuoles. Vacuoles have a wide array of functions and one of those functions is the storage. They store a lot of things including waste products, poisonous compounds, pigments and organic compounds.
20. In our previous article we talked about Cell Wall, which is present in plant cells and bacteria. In case of plants, the Cell Wall is made of basically a very tough carbohydrate. This tough carbohydrate is known as cellulose. The cellulose in turn lays in a network or medium of other carbohydrates.