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Cells Information Gap Activity Key

In 1663, English scientist Robert Hooke placed a thin strip of cork under his microscope. He saw empty box-like shapes that he thought looked like small rooms, or cells, occupied by monks of the time. Nearly 200 years later, in 1839, German biologists, Theodore Schwann and Matthias Schleiden proposed the cell theory of life: 1. All living things, or organisms, are made up of cells. 2. New cells are created by old cells dividing in two. 3. All cells are similar to each other but not identical. Cells may be thought of as the building blocks of life, and come in an amazing variety of types and sizes. Skin, muscles, blood and plants are all made up of different types of cells. Most cells are so small that thousands fit on a small microscope slide. Our bodies contain over a hundred million, million cells. An example of a very large cell is a hens egg, which wont fit under a microscope! There are two main types of cells animal and plant cells. Each cell is made up of parts called organelles. Each organelle does a separate job inside the cell. Animal Cells Figure 4.2.5 Cells from animals such as humans, pigs or frogs have several organelles in common. The cell membrane is a thin, flexible outer layer that encases the cell and controls what goes in or comes out. Cell membranes are not visible under light microscopes, which is why it can be hard to identify individual animal cells under light microscopes. The cytoplasm is a jelly-like liquid that fills most of the cell and contains hundreds of different chemicals. New substances are made and energy is released and stored there. Think of the cytoplasm as the chemical factory of the cell. Vacuoles are storage areas that may contain air, water, wastes and food particles. Animal cells often contain several small vacuoles. They are not normally visible under light microscopes. The cell nucleus is the control room of the cell. It contains DNA, which dictates how the cell develops and functions. Nuclei are often visible under light microscopes. Mitochondria are small organelles that cant be seen using a light microscope. They may be thought of as energy capsules which use sugar and oxygen to release energy.

Plant Cells Figure 4.2.7 Like animal cells, plant cells also contain a nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria, a cell membrane, but instead of many vacuoles, plant cells contain one large vacuole filled with cell sap. Unlike animals, plants need to make their own food with the help of sunlight, carbon dioxide and water in a process known as photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs in organelles called chloroplasts inside leaf cells. Chloroplasts may be seen using a light microscope. Chloroplasts in the cell use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose (a type of sugar). This is then used as food for the plant. Oxygen is made as a waste material. (Fig. 4.3.4) Unlike animal cells, plant cells have a cell wall which contains a tough, fibrous material called cellulose and provides the support needed by the plant cell. Cell walls are clearly visible under light microscopes, which make it easy to see individual plant cells under light microscopes. There are other organelles, which you might want to know about, but weve kept it simple for Grade 6! Single-Celled Organisms These organisms are called unicellular, meaning one cell. This cell carries out all the required functions such as food intake and movement. You can usually find unicellular organisms in a drop of pond water viewed under a microscope. Because some single-celled organisms show both plant and animal characteristics, they are often classified not as plants or animals, but as protists.

Different types of protists include flagellates, ciliates, amoebas and sporozoans. (Figure 4.3.9)

Multicellular Organisms Organisms with more than one cell are known as multicellular organisms. The larger the organism, the more specialized cells it has. A specialized cell carries out a very specific function for the organism. Humans contain more than 200 specialized cells. Blood cells carry food and oxygen around the body; muscle cells assist movement; nerve cells send messages from the brain to the muscles; skin cells cover our bodies and keep out infection; bone cells help support the body and protect the internal organs; fat cells insulate the body and store energy; while sperm and eggs cells can combine to produce a new human being.

Groups of Cells, Tissues and Organs People in a group can perform more complex tasks than one person alone. Like people, the different specialized cells in our bodies are organized into groups to help them work more effectively. Groups of similar cells are called tissue. Tissues in turn may be grouped together to form an organ. Just as organelles do a specific job for the cell, organs do a specific job for an organism. For example, heart cells form heart tissue, which makes up the heart, the organ specialized for pumping blood around the human body. Skin cells form skin tissue that makes up another organ the skin. Some other human organs made from specialist tissue and cells are the brain, intestines, liver, kidneys and eyes. Animals and plants may contain several different organs. Figure 4.3.1, Figure 4.4.1