The shape, size and structure of cells are often related to the specific function they perform.
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Cell – The Fundamental unit of Life – Summary
The shape of a cell may be variable (e.g. W.B.C. or leucocyte ; Amoeba have changing shapes) or fixed and peculiar for a particular type of cell (e.g. Human R.B.C. are circular and biconcave).
Both plant and animal cells show diverse shapes such as –
The size of the cells vary greatly (0.1mm to 18 cm).
- Smallest cell – Cells of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (0.1mm)
- Longest cell – Nerve cells in Humans (1m long)
- Largest cell – Egg of an Ostrich (central yellow sphere) (18cm)
Cells are generally very small and are seen only with microscope.
The small size of the cell provides –
- 1 mm = 10-6 meter or 10-3 millimeter
- Larger an organism, greater the number of cells in the body.
(a) large surface area – It ensures greater diffusion of substances in and out of the cell.
(b) easy repair of any damage to the cell.
All cells have three basic parts –
1. Outer membrane – Cell membrane / Plasma membrane and Cell wall (present only in plant cells)
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