Cell Organelles

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Nucleus: The nucleus is the most obvious organelle in any eukaryotic cell. It is enclosed in a double membrane and communicates with the surrounding cytosol via numerous nuclear pores. Within the nucleus is the DNA responsible for providing the cell with its unique characteristics. The DNA is similar in every cell of the body, but depending on the specific cell type, some genes may be turned on or off - that's why a liver cell is different from a muscle cell, and a muscle cell is different from a fat cell. When a cell is dividing, the nuclear chromatin (DNA and surrounding protein) condenses into chromosomes that are easily seen by microscopy. Nucleolus: The prominent structure in the nucleus is the nucleolus. The nucleolus produces ribosomes, which move out of the nucleus and take positions on the rough endoplasmic reticulum where they are critical in protein synthesis. Cytosol: The cytosol is the "soup" within which all the other cell organelles reside and where most of the cellular metabolism occurs. Though mostly water, the cytosol is full of proteins that control cell metabolism including signal transduction pathways, glycolysis, intracellular receptors, and transcription factors. Cytoplasm: This is a collective term for the cytosol plus the organelles suspended within the cytosol. Centrosome: The centrosome, or MICROTUBULE ORGANIZING CENTER (MTOC), is an area in the cell where microtubules are produced. Plant and animal cell centrosomes play similar roles in cell division, and both include collections of microtubules, but the plant cell centrosome is simpler and does not have centrioles. During animal cell division, the centrioles replicate (make new copies) and the centrosome divides. The result is two centrosomes, each with its own pair of centrioles. The two centrosomes move to opposite ends of the nucleus, and from each centrosome, microtubules grow into a "spindle" which is responsible for separating replicated chromosomes into the two daughter cells....
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