Do Eukaryotic Cells Have a Nucleus?

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  • 0:00 Types of Cells
  • 1:00 Membrane-Bound Organelles
  • 1:55 Nucleus
  • 2:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephanie Matalone

Stephanie taught high school science and math and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Education.

In this video, you'll learn about eukaryotic cells and find the answer to the question you've been dying to know your whole life: Do eukaryotic cells have a nucleus, and if so, what is it?

Types of Cells

There are two main types of cells: eukaryotic and prokaryotic. Eukaryotic cells are more complicated than simple prokaryotic cells, like bacteria. Eukaryotic cells have membrane-bound organelles, while prokaryotic cells do not. Membrane-bound organelles are compartments in a cell with specific functions; they include the nucleus, or the control center of the cell. Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus that contains genetic information called DNA, while prokaryotic cells do not. In prokaryotic cells, the DNA just floats around in the cell. When we talk about eukaryotic cells, we're talking about the cells found in animals, humans, and plants. For example, your body has trillions of eukaryotic cells that have a nucleus and share a similar structure. However, each eukaryotic cell is a little different based on its location in the body.

Eukaryotic Cell

Prokaryotic Cell

Membrane-Bound Organelles

Think of membrane-bound organelles as little versions of the human heart and lungs that have specific jobs to do, just like the organs in your body. For example, the heart is responsible for blood circulation, while the lungs are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Membrane-bound organelles are surrounded by a layer like the outside of the cell. Just as your lungs and heart are closed to the inside of your body, membrane-bound organelles are closed to the inside of the cell. As we mentioned earlier, membrane-bound organelles have different cellular functions. For example, if you're working on a group project, each member of the group will most likely have a different task so that the project proceeds efficiently. Organelles perform the same way in a cell. For example, an organelle called the mitochondria makes energy for the cell, while the Golgi body packages and transports molecules for the cell.


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