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20 Fascinating Cell Facts You Must Know

If you think that we are done with cell facts, you are gravely mistaken. We are just warming up. But, this article might be the last article that gives a general list of facts about cells. We may just move on to more specialized articles after this where each and every component of cell will be dealt with in a separate article. Sounds good? Well, we think that is what you will probably need for more detailed study of cells. These general cell facts are basically trivia-type facts that you can use to play quiz in your school.

So, instead of spending too much time writing unnecessary things, let’s jump into the facts. Ready?

Fascinating Cell Facts: 1-5

1. Cells in animals do not follow any specific shape. They have various shapes and each shape is defined by the function of cells. Some cells even change shape as and when required. For example, Lymphocytes, which are immune cells can change shape.

2. Plant cells on the other hand have a fixed shape – more or less square or rectangular. That’s because such shape allows dramatic reduction in interstitial shape and even helps in building Cell Wall.

3. All Eukaryotic cells – whether plant cells or animal cells have something known as Peroxisomes. They are also known as microbodies.

4. Peroxisomes are organelles because they are bound by a membrane. There are various jobs assigned to the Peroxisomes. The most vital of these jobs is to oxidize and decompose the organic molecules.

5. There are enzymes present in the Peroxisomes that are responsible for decomposing organic molecules. However, such decomposition actually leads to production of hydrogen peroxide.

Fascinating Cell Facts: 6-10

6. The problem with hydrogen peroxide is that it is actually toxic or poisonous for the cells. So, this toxin has to be neutralized right? How does that? Any guess? It is the same organelle that produces the toxin in the first place. Yes, Peroxisomes have another enzyme that takes on hydrogen peroxide and converts it into water.

7. We didn’t speak of Lysosomes, did we? Lysosomes are basically spherical sacs covered with membrane. These sacs store enzymes. Lysosomes are present in most of the animal cells and plant cells.

8. The enzymes that are present inside the Lysosomes are acidic hydrolase enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for digesting the macromolecules. However, there is a problem. It’s acid! Cells cannot really take acid. Solution?

9. The membrane of the Lysosome comes to rescue. It is responsible for keeping the interior of the Lysosome acidic while ensuring that the rest of the cell has no contact with the digestive enzyme.

10. While Lysosomes are often called as digesters of the cells, they are also known as the garbage disposers. They are responsible for recycling organic material in the cells. Lysosomes are often found involved in what is known as “programmed cell death” in various organisms.

Fascinating Cell Facts: 11-15

11. Centrioles is yet another fascinating thing found in cells. They are responsible for organizing microtubules assembly during the cell division. Centrioles play a very important role in ensuring that daughter cells get the adequate number of chromosomes.

12. Heard of the term Apoptosis? It is a process of programmed cell death. It is highly regulated and this regulation has to be there because once the process of Apoptosis starts, it cannot stop.

13. There are two ways in which Apoptosis can occur. First is called intrinsic pathway in which the cell actually senses stress and kills itself.

14. The next way that Apoptosis can occur is called extrinsic pathways in which other cells start sending signal to a cell to kill itself and the cell kills itself.

15. Let’s get back to Ribosomes. Remember we said in an earlier article that Ribosomes are attached on Endoplasmic Reticulum? Well, that’s not the only place where Ribosomes are found. They can be found floating freely throughout the entire cell.

Fascinating Cell Facts: 16-20

16. Did you know that bacteria are way smaller than animal cells? Well, because they are smaller, they can actually enter inside the cells and wreak havoc. This is where Lysosomes come in and they destroy the bacteria.

17. Ever wondered what’s inside the Cell Nucleus? Well, what you get inside the Cell Nucleus is known as Chromatin, which is basically a combination of histones (a type of protein), ribonucleic acids and DNA.

18. In human body, the only cells that do not have Mitochondria and Nucleus are the Red Blood Cells.

19. Blood cells in human body are known for existing individually but most of the cells in our body are actually connected to each other through a process known as Cell Adhesion. There are special types of proteins that help to fasten the adjoining cells together.

20. Here is something really interesting. The nerve cells in human body are known for sending and receiving message. But how? These neurons make use of electricity!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4