Ch 2: The Cell: The Basic Unit of Life

About This Chapter

Get a refresher on the cell and learn the ways in which animal cells differ from plant cells by watching and reading the lessons in this chapter. These engaging lessons can help you prepare for an exam or cover topics you missed in class.

The Cell: The Basic Unit of Life - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you can review important information about the cell. Our expert instructors guide you through understanding the endomembrane system, mitochondria, the structure of cilia and flagella, the function of lysosomes, and the composition of centrioles and peroxisomes. After going though these lessons you should be able to:

  • Stae the function of the cell
  • Discern the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells
  • Understand the unique structure and characteristics of plant cells
  • Explain the major types of plastids
  • Comprehend the differences between plant and animal cells
  • Recall how information is stored and used in the nucleus
  • Identify the function of the cytoskeleton
  • Recognize the structure and function of ribosomes, centrioles, and peroxisomes

Our lessons were made to be accessible at home on your computer or on-the-go when you utilize your mobile device. This gives you the flexibility to study in a way that is convenient for you and your schedule. After you complete each lesson, take the lesson quizzes designed to measure your level of understanding.

14 Lessons in Chapter 2: The Cell: The Basic Unit of Life
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Cell: Structure & Function

1. The Cell: Structure & Function

The cell is a small, but complex structure. Take a look inside the outer plasma membrane of a cell and discover the functions of some common cellular components, including the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and mitochondria, in this lesson.

Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences

2. Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences

In this lesson, we discuss the similarities and differences between the eukaryotic cells of your body and prokaryotic cells such as bacteria. Eukaryotes organize different functions within specialized membrane-bound compartments called organelles. These structures do not exist in prokaryotes.

Plant Cell Structures: The Cell Wall and Central Vacuole

3. 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!

Plastids: Definition, Structure, Types & Functions

4. Plastids: Definition, Structure, Types & Functions

Plastids are found in plants and some algae. They are necessary for essential life processes, like photosynthesis and food storage. Read this lesson to learn about major types of plastids and what they do to sustain life.

The Difference Between Plant and Animal Cells

5. The Difference Between Plant and Animal Cells

While both plant and animal cells are eukaryotic and share many similarities, they also differ in several ways. Learn about the key differences between these two cell types in this lesson.

The Role of the Nucleus in the Cell

6. The Role of the Nucleus in the Cell

The nucleus of the cell acts like the control center, storing the information needed for the cell to do everything it needs to do. This lesson will discuss how that information is stored and used.

The Cytoskeleton: Microtubules and Microfilaments

7. 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.

The Endomembrane System: Functions & Components

8. 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!

What Is Mitochondria? - Definition & Functions

9. What Is Mitochondria? - Definition & Functions

What does a little thing inside of your cells have to do with bacteria, energy, money, and your body's life sustaining processes? Well, in one word, 'mitochondrion' is the answer! In this lesson, you will learn about mitochondria and their function.

Cilia in Cells: Definition, Functions & Structure

10. Cilia in Cells: Definition, Functions & Structure

Cilia have a cool name, but what are they? What do they do? Complete this lesson to find out what your cilia are up to and why you should be impressed with their hard work!

Lysosome: Definition & Function

11. Lysosome: Definition & Function

Lysosomes are organelles found inside all cells. In this lesson, you will learn about the structure and function of lysosomes to gain a better understanding of them.

The Ribosome: Structure, Function and Location

12. 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.

Centriole: Definition, Structure & Function

13. Centriole: Definition, Structure & Function

This lesson is about centrioles, which are an important part of cells. We will learn about what a centriole is, what it's made of, and what its role is in different cells.

Peroxisomes: Definition, Structure & Functions

14. 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.

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.
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