By now we have a pretty good
foundation for learning more about cells. We just explored the the
cell theory in some detail. Let's focus on one of the components of
the cell theory: Cells are the basic units of life.
We can think of cells as
biological factories, each with the equipment, assembly lines, and
transportation systems to make whatever it needs for energy or to
repair its structures. Many of the functions of a cell are carried
out by organelles distinct structures or compartments within a
eukaryotic cell that perform specific tasks.
This activity is a virtual tour
of a cell. We'll build a human liver cell from scratch, starting
with the cytosol and adding all the organelles and support
structures. As we add each component, we'll explore its structure
and function in detail. We'll also consider the important
interrelationships of several organelles. Once we've built a cell
and understand the function of all its components, we'll surround it
with a variety of extracellular structures so we can begin to see
how cells communicate with one another and come together to form
tissues and organs.