More than just the sum of its parts: An investigation into cell structure and function Background



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NGSS MS-LS1-2 (Students who can demonstrate an understanding of this concept can develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function).

More than just the sum of its parts: An investigation into cell structure and function

Background

Cells are the tiny workhorses that hold all of the biological machinery necessary for life. There are numerous types of cells, each of which perform very different functions. Have you ever thought about what is inside of a cell? Or what cells really do? Today we’ll be taking a much closer look at these questions while learning about the structure and function of cells.


There are two main groups of cells – prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Let’s take a look at these two cell groups.


Characteristic

Prokaryotes

Eukaryotes

Example of Cell






Organisms

Bacteria

Protists, Fungi, Plants, Animals

Nucleus

No membrane bound nucleus

Membrane bound nucleus

Cell Wall

Made of peptidoglycan

If present, made of cellulose or chitin

Organelles

No membrane bound organelles

Membrane bound organelles

DNA

Single circular chromosome

Multiple linear chromosomes

Number of Cells

Always unicellular

Can be unicellular or multicellular
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