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Why We Study Cells and Its Components

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"Why We Study the Cell and Its Components"

By: Nancy Fitzgerald

Date: 11/19/11

Biology 101

Instructor: Bickerton

Scientists have been studying cells diligently to better understand the world around them. Cells consist of many different organisms which play an important role in all living things. The study of cells have given scientists a much better understanding in separating species, finding medical cures, and examining how life forms have evolved on this planet.

Cells are the structural and functional units of all living organisms. Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell. Other organisms, such as humans, are multicellular, or have many cells. Each cell is an amazing world within itself: it can take in nutrients, convert these nutrients into energy, carry out specialized functions, and reproduce. Even more amazing is that each cell stores its own set of instructions for carrying out each of these activities.

If it weren't for cells and their components, we as humans would not be alive today. The molecular structure varies in every living thing; the difference in cellular make-up distinguishes what cell type is involved. Prokaryotic cells are types of (bacteria and also blue algae) these cells are smaller, they lack organelles, have no nucleus, one circular chromosome, tough external wall, and the DNA is not separated from the cytoplasm. Whereas, the Eukaryotic cells consist of protists, plants, fungi, and animals. They are sub-divided by internal membrane separated by different compartments, DNA is enclosed by membrane bound nucleus, DNA is organized into chromosomes, and cytoplasm surrounds nucleus and organelles. Scientists classify each kingdom depending on what class you a cell falls into.

Viruses are important to the study of molecular and cellular biology because they provide simple systems that can be used to manipulate and investigate the functions of many cell types. The way scientist are able to manipulate viral replication depends on the metabolism of the infected cell. Therefore, the study of viruses can provide fundamental information about aspects of cell biology and metabolism. The rapid growth and small genome size of bacteria make them excellent tools for experiments in biology. Bacterial viruses have also simplified the study of bacterial genetics and have expanded our understanding of the basic parts of molecular genetics. Because of the complexity of an animal cell genome, viruses have been even more important in studies of animal cells than in studies of bacteria. Numerous studies have verified the benefits of animal viruses as probes for investigating

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