Here you will learn about
The eukaryotic cell

History of cell discovery

The cell was first discovered and named by Robert Hooke in 1665. He remarked that it looked strangely similar to cellula or small rooms which monks inhabited, thus deriving the name. However what Hooke actually saw was the dead cell walls of plant cells (cork) as it appeared under the microscope.

The Cell Membrane

The cell membrane is a selectively permeable membrane made up of a lipid bilayer with proteins embedded within. The molecules that make up the cell membranes (lipids) are hydrophobic and turn their tails away from H2O. Receptor proteins within the membrane allow certain molecules to pass while others do not gain entry. 50% of the membranes volume consists of proteins while the other 50% consists of the phospholipids. The membrane can also conduct ions which aid in the process of cell signaling.



The cytoskeleton is present in all cells of all domains of life. The cytoskeleton is comprised of a network of interlinking tubules and and filaments that are found everywhere throughout the cytoplasm. The cytoskeleton begins at the plasma membrane and extends all the way to the nucleus. The cytoskeleton’s primary function is to give the cell structural support but it can also serve as a scaffold for the organelles to organize upon. The cytoskeleton is also directly responsible for muscle contractions and cell movement.



The lysosome is a membrane-bound organism found in most eukaryotic cells. They are spherical vesicles that contain hydrolytic enzymes (more than 60 enzymes) that can break down virtually any biomolecule. The pH of the lysosomes ranges from 4.5 - 5.0. The main purpose of the lysosome is to serve as a disposal system for cellular waste in the cytoplasm. The size of these organelles can vary drastically. The biggest lysosomes can be 10x bigger than the smallest ones.


Endoplasmic Reticulum

All eukaryotic organisms contain endoplasmic reticula in their cells. There are two types of reticula: the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and rough endoplasmic reticulum. Both of these form a network of membranes and tubes stretching from the cell membrane to the nuclear envelope. The rough endoplasmic reticulum gets its name because the abundance of ribosomes in its membranes give it a rough appearance. These ribosomes enable the rough endoplasmic reticulum to synthesize proteins and frequently bind and unbind from the reticulum, depending on whether protein synthesis is necessary. This ensures that a cell, and the body, does not flood with unnecessary proteins.


Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi apparatus, sometimes called the Golgi complex or Golgi body, is responsible for making, storing, and transporting certain cellular products, particularly those from the endoplasmic reticulum. Depending on the type of cell, there can be just a few complexes or there can be hundreds. Cells that specialize in secreting various substances typically have a high number of Golgi.



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