Why It Matters: Cellular Structure

Why identify and explain a variety of cellular components?

The cell is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known living organisms. In order to understand and work in many different fields, you must first learn about the cell. Understanding how cellular components work can help you understand health issues related to cellular function. For example, the following diseases are linked directly to specific cellular components:

  • Cystic Fibrosis: characterized by thick mucus and frequent chest infections
  • Pompe Disease: characterized by excess accumulation of glycogen in muscle cells
  • Leigh Disease: progressive disorder of lesions (dead or dying cells) in the brain
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy: wasting and weakness in muscles of the shoulders, upper arms, and calf muscles

What cellular components could each of these be connected to? Let’s take a closer look inside a cell and see if we can find out!

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand why and how the light microscope and electron microscope are used in biology.
  • Describe the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Identify membrane-bound organelles found in eukaryotic cells.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with various components of the cytoskeleton, including monomeric units.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with various cell surface specializations.