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Plant and Animal Cell

Author: Vincent Guo

Editors: Sophia Chen and Shirley Chen 

Artist: Emily Hu

Living organisms consist of a multitude of cells, which are microscopic and therefore imperceptible to the naked human eye, yet they play an indispensable role in our daily lives, composing our organs and even our bones. Just as our body cells have organelles that function to keep our body going and provide the energy we need, the mitochondria stand out as a crucial organelle. The purpose of the mitochondria is to convert glucose, a broken-down form of sugar, into adenosine triphosphate–or ATP– through a process called cellular respiration. ATP is used as energy for our body. Every movement we make and every time our heart beats uses ATP. Without ATP, none of our organs would function at all. 

The nucleus is another important organelle in the cell, which houses our DNA. Within the nucleus, the nucleolus contains chromosomes. The typical number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46, but this number varies between different animals. An individual with 47 chromosomes has Down syndrome. Furthermore, the ribosome, essential for protein synthesis, and the Golgi body, responsible for transporting substances like protein and lipids throughout our cells, play crucial roles. The cytoplasm, a clear liquid inside the cell, hosts various cellular activities, while lysosomes, containing enzymes that break down materials like dead cells and waste, are important to cellular function Some organelles are unique to either plants or animals. Those organelles are centrioles and chloroplasts. Only animals have centrioles, and the function of the centriole is cell division. Cell division is when one cell divides itself into two, which is how our skin repairs itself when damaged. Then there is the chloroplast, found only in plants, which is important for photosynthesis, converting sunlight into energy and allowing the plant to provide itself with food without consuming another animal or plant. 

Now we have the vacuole, which is inside both the plant and animal cells. While animals have many small vacuoles, plant cells typically have one large vacuole. However, they share the same functions: storing food, water, and waste. We have a cell membrane, which gives our cells their shape and regulates what can come in and out of the cell. The cell lets small things in and stops large things from coming in. For example, it does not allow proteins in, but it does allow glucose in. The cell membranes are composed of lipids and proteins. The plant cell also has a cell wall, which gives the cell membrane support. If you put a ton of water in an animal cell, it will burst, but if you put a ton of water in a plant cell, the cell wall will support the cell membrane and prevent it from bursting.



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Admin. “Cell Organelles - Types, Structure and Their Functions.” BYJUS, BYJU’S, 4 July

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