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Ch 2: Cell Structure & Function Overview

About This Chapter

These lessons introduce you to the fascinating world of life's building blocks: cells. Learn about cell theory, cellular structures, functions and more. This chapter is for anyone interested in studying cell biology, whether it's for a course or an exam, for credit or just for fun!

Cell Structure & Function Overview - Chapter Summary

Every living creature, from the tiniest speck of bacteria to the mighty blue whale, is composed of cells. In this chapter, you will learn about the fundamentals of cell biology, including cell theory, the factors that determine cell size, and the characteristics of cellular structures. Each brief lesson introduces you to a new topic related to cell biology, while lesson quizzes are here to help you keep up with the material and test what you have learned. This content is always available for review from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device. Working through all of the lessons in this chapter will help you:

  • Understand and explain the three principles of cell theory
  • Distinguish between prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses
  • Understand why cells are so small and how they can overcome size limitations
  • Describe the inner workings and structures of bacteria
  • Summarize the nucleus, its function and its parts
  • Explain ribosomes and their roles as genetic translators
  • Describe the cellular endomembrane system and its components
  • Identify the purpose and parts of the cytoskeleton
  • Define and describe mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell

12 Lessons in Chapter 2: Cell Structure & Function Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Cell Theory? - Definition & Parts

1. What is Cell Theory? - Definition & Parts

Cell theory is a fundamental theory in biology that makes generalizations about cells. This lesson will help you understand the three main principles of cell theory.

Cell Size & Scale: Surface Area, Volume Ratio & Organelles

2. Cell Size & Scale: Surface Area, Volume Ratio & Organelles

In this lesson, we'll be explaining the limitations of cell size, specifically the surface area to volume ratio. Then, we'll look at organelles that help cells overcome these limitations.

Do Bacteria Cells Have Organelles?

3. Do Bacteria Cells Have Organelles?

Bacteria are inside of you, but what is inside of them? This lesson discusses the internal structure of bacteria and whether or not they have organelles.

Cellular Structure: Function & Definition

4. Cellular Structure: Function & Definition

Living organisms are divided into two major types, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This lesson describes the structure and functions of these two cell types. When you are through, you can test your understanding with a quiz.

Structure of the Nucleus: Nucleolus, Nuclear Membrane, and Nuclear Pores

5. Structure of the Nucleus: Nucleolus, Nuclear Membrane, and Nuclear Pores

In this lesson, we'll discuss the organization and importance of the nucleus in your cells. This is the membrane-bound structure responsible for containing all the genetic material essential to making you who you are.

The Ribosome: Structure, Function and Location

6. The Ribosome: Structure, Function and Location

The ribosome is the cellular structure responsible for decoding your DNA. In this lesson, we'll learn about ribosome structure, function and location - characteristics that make it a very good genetic translator.

The Endomembrane System: Functions & Components

7. The Endomembrane System: Functions & Components

In this lesson, we'll learn about the endomembrane system, which consists of the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. This system is important in making, packaging, and shipping all sorts of goodies for the cell to use!

The Cytoskeleton: Microtubules and Microfilaments

8. The Cytoskeleton: Microtubules and Microfilaments

In this lesson, we'll learn about the cytoskeleton of your cells. This network of microtubules, intermediate filaments, and microfilaments helps different types of cells maintain a unique set of characteristics, including shape and movement.

Mitochondria Structure: Cristae, Matrix and Inner & Outer Membrane

9. Mitochondria Structure: Cristae, Matrix and Inner & Outer Membrane

If you want to make it through the day, you're going to need some energy. In this lesson, we'll learn about the organelle that supplies this energy, the mitochondrion, and why this cell structure appreciates the time you took to eat breakfast this morning!

Peroxisomes: Definition, Structure & Functions

10. Peroxisomes: Definition, Structure & Functions

This lesson is going to discuss the peroxisomes of the cell. We will look at the structure and function of the peroxisomes as well as how they are formed.

Plant Cell Structures: The Cell Wall and Central Vacuole

11. Plant Cell Structures: The Cell Wall and Central Vacuole

In this lesson, we'll talk about some of the things that make plant cells so different from our cells. In addition to being mean, green photosynthesizing machines, plant cells have cell walls and central vacuoles to make them unique!

Aquaporins: Definition & Function

12. Aquaporins: Definition & Function

This lesson focuses on special water channel proteins called aquaporins. Aquaporins allow water to travel across a cell membrane, thus controlling the water balance within a cell.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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