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It is the smallest fundamental unit that makes up a living organism. A cell can carry out necessary life activities, including replication. Replication of one cell gives rise to a new cell of a similar type. This is also called cell division.
Every living organism is composed of cells. On the basis of the number of cells that make up the organisms, they can be of two types – Unicellular (if made of single-cell) and multicellular (if made of multiple cells). Every cell has an extremely complex structure and function.
The microscopic study of the cell structure reveals a cell membrane enclosing a mass of cytoplasm (the mass of fluid that occupies the majority of the cell) and a nucleus (it contains the hereditary material). The nucleus is the chief regulatory centre of the cell. There are various organelles within the cells, each recruited for a specialized function. All the cell organelles work together as a unit to discharge the complete activities of the cell.
To date, the smallest known cell: structure and function are Mycoplasma. The first biologist who discovered cells was Robert Hooke.
Lets see how a cell provides structural support and stability to any living organism.
There are a plethora of cell organelles within each cell. The chief organelles are:-
Did you know that the discovery of cells is the single most crucial fundamental event in Biology that has revolutionized the life sciences concept? In 1665, Robert Hooke first noticed a bottle cork under a compound microscope and addressed each cork unit as cells because they resembled tiny rooms. However, he could not provide any further insight into the cells’ structural complexity and attributed cells as non-living entities.
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek observed cells under compound microscopes and attributed them as living entities. He addressed these units as animalcules.
Later in the year 1893, Robert Brown proposed a detailed structure of cells and highlighted the nucleus presence in cells.
The first proposed cell theory was proposed by three eminent scientists – Theodor Schwann, Matthias Schleiden, and Rudolf Virchow. Following are the postulates of cell theory:-
Later on, the following postulates were added to the existing cell theory:-
Cells are fundamental of two types:-
Prokaryotic cells (primitive cells)
They have the following characteristics:
Eukaryotic Cells (modern cells)
They have the following characteristics:-
There are various types of cells depending on their location and structure like Epithelial cells, bone cells (osteoblasts), nephrons of kidney cells, Myocytes or muscle cells, cardiocytes or heart cells, etc.
Following are the essential functions of the cells
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