Introduction

Figure 3.1. Animal Cell
A normal human skin cell (Credit: Zeiss Microscopy/flickr)

Introduction

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the structure and function of the cell membrane, including its regulation of materials into and out of the cell
  • Describe the functions of the various cytoplasmic organelles
  • Explain the structure, function, and contents of the nucleus
  • Describe cellular membrane transport processes
  • List the stages of the cell cycle in order, including the steps of cell division in somatic cells

 

All living things are composed of cells.  There are approximately 75 trillion cells in the human body.  Each kind is specialized to perform a specific function in the body.  Although human cells are microscopic, they are amazingly complex and contain many specialized parts.  In this chapter, you will explore the cell and develop an understanding of basic cellular processes.