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Fundamental Structure Of a Cell

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Cell is defined to be the basic component of any living thing or organism which is considered to be a primary part of an organism. All organisms are composed of structural and functional units of life called ‘cells (, 2018)’. The body of some organisms like bacteria, protozoans and some algae are composed of a single cell while the body of fungi, plants and animals are composed of numerous types of cells (, 2018).

Different type of cells exist which have distinct functionality and are made up of various organelles. These cells also function differently and their general structure behaves differently as well. Cells can either be eukaryotic or prokaryotic (, 2018). Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and membrane bound organelles. Plant and animal cells are eukaryotes (, 2018). Prokaryotes do not have a nucleus, and lack membrane bound organelles. They are the oldest know cells on earth. Bacteria are prokaryotes. Prokaryotes often move using major structures such as flagella or cilia (Krawetz and Womble, 2003).

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Functions of an organelle

The following are the main description of organelles that it contains. Organelles are defined to be the vital components of cells that make up to functions Organelle Description Function Cell wall. It is found in the outer layer. It is found to be rigid, strong, stiff and made of cellulose support (grow tall), protection, allows H2O, O2, CO2 to pass into and out of cell.

Cell plays a vital role in any living structure as it is proved to be the essential building blocks to the utmost basic level of a living organism. These play as a vital role in how it helps in the function of every organ and how they make up them (Tirziu, Giordano and Simons, 2010). In this assessment, it will be understood by understanding how a heart works. Heart is one of the important organs of any individual it carries rich oxygen and nutrients in form of blood throughout the entire body and regulates the flow of the blood as well. A human heart contains around 3 billion cardiac muscle cells (Tirziu, Giordano and Simons, 2010).

In order for it to function, the heart is made up of particular cardiac muscle cells called myocytes which contract all by itself without any nervous system, unlike from any other muscle cell. This function happens because of the, specialized cells in the right atrium are used that help in the contractions of each myocyte (Pinto et Al., 2016). While each mycoyte can contract independently, for efficient pumping, they need to be synchronized (Pinto et al., 2016). For this, the cellular membranes of these cells are interdependent, coming together to form intercalated discs that allows for synchronized contraction. These are considered to be specialized cells found in the right atrium, which is the upper right chamber of the heart, function as the sinus node. The sinus nodes are considered, a natural pacemaker, produces electrical impulses that regulate the contractions of all the cardiac cells. Cells in heart muscle process a lot of energy, so they have a large number of mitochondria, the part of the cells where energy is made (Pinto et Al., 2016).

Other main function of the heart is to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body to provide cells with the essential nutrients and elements. Individual myocytes can contract individually and in order for the heart to pump effectively, every cell must contract in unison. To do this, the cellular membranes of cardiac cells intertwine each other. These cells come together in a structural area known as intercalated discs. The formation of these discs provides an electrical connection between the cells, which allows them to contract in unison. When the sinus node fires off an electrical impulse the pulse of electricity first travels through the top chambers of the heart and continues through the arterial node where it’s slowed down (Scott and Fong, 2016). By slowing down the electrical signal the arterial node allows time for the upper walls of the heart to contract before the ventricles (Scott and Fong, 2016). Once through the arterial node’s gate the pulse continues to move through the bundle branches and Purkinje fibers and then finally ends in the ventricles, which contract and pump blood through the body (Scott and Fong, 2016).


  1. 1. (2018) Cell Structure and Function. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Sep. 2018].
  2. 2. Krawetz, S. and Womble, D. (2003). Introduction to bioinformatics. Totowa, N.J.: Humana Press.
  3. 3. Pinto, A., Ilinykh, A., Ivey, M., Kuwabara, J., D’Antoni, M., Debuque, R., Chandran, A., Wang, L., Arora, K., Rosenthal, N. and Tallquist, M. (2016). Revisiting Cardiac Cellular Composition. Circulation Research, 118(3), pp.400-409.
  4. 4. Tirziu, D., Giordano, F. and Simons, M. (2010). Cell Communications in the Heart. Circulation, 122(9), pp.928-937.
  5. 5. Scott, A. and Fong, E. (2016). Body structures and functions. Delmar Cengage Learning.


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