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Cells: The Basic Units of Life

Science, Grade 6

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Study Guide Cells: The Basic Units of Life Science, Grade 6

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CELLS: THE BASIC UNITS OF STRUCTURE Discovering Cells For the majority of human history we have not been able to see things that are on a small scale. In the late 16th century, that all changed with the invention of the microscope. It wasn’t until almost 100 years after the invention of the microscope that Robert Hooke discovered and named the cell by looking at a thin slice of cork. The scientific community was very excited about the discovery of cells and advances in microscopy began to catch the attention of the world. Lesson Checkpoint: Who discovered and named the cell? A Series of Important Discoveries Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered single celled organisms which he appropriately named animalcules. Matthias Schleiden concluded that all plants were made up of cells and Theodor Schwann concluded that all animals were made up of cells. Both discoveries lead to the development of the cell theory. The Cell Theory The cell theory was developed in response to the discoveries of Schleiden and Schwann. The cell theory declares that: Cells are produced from other living cells All living organisms are made up of cells, and that Cells are the basic building blocks of all living organisms. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
Important Technologies The light microscope not only makes things look larger, but it also shows the object in detail. Without good magnification and sharp resolution, the light microscope would have been useless. Magnification is when an object is made to look bigger. Resolution is when an object is made to appear more clearly. An image that has sharp or high resolution is not blurry and details of the image are very clear. This is very important in scientific research. Electron Microscope The electron microscope was first developed in the 1930’s. An electron microscope uses a beam of incredibly small particles called electrons that bounce off of the object being magnified. The electron microscope made it possible for scientists to see very fine details at very high magnification. Cell Structure The cell is the basic building blocks of all living organisms. There are many structures within the cell. The structures within the cell are known as organelles, which are all of the structures within the cell that carry out specific functions. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
The cell’s organelles The cell wall is a rigid outer layer of plant cells and certain other living organisms. Inside the cell wall is a layer called the cell membrane, which is the outer layer of all animal cells. There are pores all over the cell membrane where materials are brought in and taken out of the cell. The cell membrane can be looked at as the gate keeper of the cell. The nucleus is the control center for all of the functions within the cell. The nucleus is surrounded by the nuclear membrane, which houses the nucleolus and the chromatin. The chromatin contains the genetic material that is used for directing the cell functions. The cytoplasm is a substance outside the nucleus where the cell's organelles are held. It is made almost entirely of water. The organelles that are located in the cytoplasm are: The chloroplast captures energy from the sun and converts it into food and is only found in plant cells. The endoplasmic reticulum is the transport system that takes different materials around the cell. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
The Golgi bodies direct the different materials made in the cell to where they need to go. The lysosomes break down food molecules and old cell parts to be used for energy production. The mitochondria is a rod-like structure that produces most of the energy that is used by the cell. The ribosome is an organelle that produces proteins. The vacuoles are used for storing materials from the cell. Plant and Animal Cell Differences Plant and animal cells are very similar with cellular structures, but vary in two major aspects. Plant cells contain chloroplasts that give the cells their green color. Chloroplasts are the organelles that capture energy from the sun and convert it into food and oxygen in a process known as photosynthesis. This process is the opposite of what animal cells use. Plant cells also have a rigid cell wall. In animal cells the mitochondria uses food and combines it with oxygen to produce energy and carbon dioxide. This process is known as aerobic respiration. Lesson Checkpoint: What are the two key differences between plant and animal cells? © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
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