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an internal transport system, of molecules

The cell structure is defined by the cell membrane, the cytoplasm, and the nucleus. A cell is the smallest unit of life and its structure helps it to work as the basic building block of biology.

The cell function is to keep all of the functions of the body performing as intended. This includes keeping toxins out of the body, help to break down waste, make nutrients and act as barriers within organelles.

Cells are the basic building blocks of life. Yet what are all the components of a cell that enable them to carry out their basic functions? Cells are made up of a wide variety of structures and components, and each component plays a necessary and important role.

Different types of cells have different structures, depending on the function of the cell. Certain cells like algae cells, for instance, have a tail that helps them propel themselves through the water. While other cells like pollen have little spikes on them so they can stick to insects.

Despite their differences, most cells have structures in common. These common structures include a cell membrane, DNA, ribosomes, and cytoplasm.

Four Key Parts of a Cell: Cell Membrane, Cytoplasm, DNA and Ribosomes

Cells have a plasma membrane, cell membrane, or cell wall that surrounds the cell and acts as their skin. It makes up the boundary between the cell and their environment and controls what can move in and out of the cell. The cell membrane is constructed out of a phospholipid bilayer, two layers of lipids facing opposite directions. The lipid layers are made out of building blocks of fatty acids and consist of a head and body. The body of the lipid is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water while the heads of the lipids are hydrophilic meaning that it likes water.

In addition to the cell membrane found in animal cells, plant cells also have a cell wall. The cell wall is made out of cellulose and it helps give the cell extra protection and support. A crucial difference is that unlike cell membranes cells walls do not allow for the passage of materials through them. To get around this problem cell walls have unique structures called plasmodesmata, special holes that allow the material to move in and out.

Photo: By LadyofHats (Mariana Ruiz) – Own work using Adobe Illustrator. Image renamed from Image:Animal cell structure.svg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4266142