Cell City

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The cell functions much in the way a city does. Although it may be an old analogy, it may be one of the best. Following is a list of cell parts and how their function is similar to functions of a city or town.

The cell membrane is the city limits of our city. Outside of the city limits, the local government has no jurisdiction, but inside those limits, people are subject to the “laws of the land”.

The nucleus – This is the place where direction is given and DNA is sent from. This would be the city government; the body of the city that makes rules and regulations for people to live by.

The nuclear envelope – City government needs a home and that is typically City Hall. It is simply the walls of the governing body. However small holes are in the nuclear envelope of a cell that allow for passage of information. In a city, if the information does not get out to the people, there is no point in having a governing body.

The chromatin represents actual laws being made at City Hall that dictate what may and may not go on in the city.

Ribosomes are the productive citizens who live in the city. There are many people in a city working, living, raising families, doing what they do. Ribosomes are the “busy” parts of a cell, producing and working and doing what they need to do (typically synthesizing proteins, often enzymes)

Rough ER – This is the homes and businesses of the city. This is where people go about their lives doing what they do; they have jobs, they have families, they have things to do and people to see. The rough ER is where much of the productivity of the ribosomes occurs.

Smooth ER – This is another productive place in the cell, but much cell detoxification takes place here. This could be a hospital or rehab center in our city.

Golgi – Every city needs a post office where information/mail/products manufactured within the city can be properly sorted and distributed. This may be out of the city, or within the city to its...
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