Characteristics of Cells

Term Definition
cell smallest structure and functional unit of all living organisms
organism any living thing
cell membrane a protective layer that covers the cell's surface and act as a barrier between the inside of the cell and the cell's environment "outside of the cell"
cytoplasm enclosed by the cell membrane and holds the fluid and all organelles "jelly like"
organelle small body in the cell's cytoplasm that has a special function "parts of a cell"
nucleus membrane bound organelle that contains the DNA "controls the cell"
prokaryote single celled organism that does not have a nucleus
eukaryote an organism made of cells with DNA in the nucleus (examples are plants, animals, protist and fungi)
cytoskeleton network of protein that gives shape and support to the cell
mitochondrion release energy stored in food “power house”
ribosome makes protein
endoplasmic reticulum transport of protein
Golgi complex package and distribute materials
cell wall provide support and protect plant cell
vacuole fluid filled vesicle found in animals, plants and fungi used for storage
chloroplast organelles where photosynthesis occurs
lysosome break down worn out or damaged organelles, waste and foreign invaders
structure arrangements of parts in an organism or object (how it is built)
function activity of each part in the organism (what does it do)
photosynthesis the process where plants, algae and some bacteria gets energy
cellular respiration process where cells use oxygen to produce energy from food
mitosis the process for cell division in a eukaryotic cell
passive transport movement of particles across a cell membrane without energy
active transport movement of particles against a concentration gradient using energy
diffusion movement of molecules from high concentration to low concentration (passive transport)
osmosis the diffusion of water (passive transport)
endocytosis cell surround a particle to bring it into the cell using energy
exocytosis a vessicle from inside the cell attach to the cell membrane to move "stuff" out of the cell using energy
equilibrium when there is a balance of the molecules
concentration gradient there is an uneven distribution of a substance across a border. For example, think of a balloon. The air inside the balloon is more concentrated than the air outside of it. There is a concentration gradient because of the differences in concentration

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