Comparing a Cell to a Factory

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Imagine a busy factory making the latest must-have toy. Whether they make bicycles, cell phones, or hot air balloons, most factories are set up the same way. All factories have outside walls that protect and support them and inside walls that create different work areas. They usually have a production line where a product is put together and an executive department that decides what product is made. A finishing department processes and prepares the product for shipping, and a packaging department wraps the product. In addition, a factory has a receiving department that brings in the parts it needs to make its product, a communications department that allows it to contact suppliers, and a power plant that provides the energy it needs to run. Finally, a custodial staff keeps everything clean and in good working order. Cells are similar to factories. To stay alive and function properly, cells have a division of labor similar to that found in factories. All eukaryotic cells are composed of a plasma membrane, a nucleus, and cytoplasm. These structures can be compared with a factory's departments. The Cell Membrane

What if you needed to find a job in the factory? What could you do? If you do not have any manufacturing skills, and you are not management material, you would probably be placed in an entry-level position. Perhaps you'd be assigned to the warehouse. Here, you would be responsible for shipping and receiving. A factory requires a constant supply of raw materials, as well as a way to send out the finished product. This department is usually located along an outside wall of the factory. Working here, you would be one of the factory's contacts with the outside world. You might take a job as a receptionist and sit at a desk near the front door of the factory. A phone would allow you to contact anyone else in the building. Also, all incoming and outgoing calls would go through you. As a receptionist, you may speak for the factory and allow it to...
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