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Cell Basics

General Terms About Cells and Living Things

Cell The basic unit (or "building block") of life
Nucleus The control center of the cell
Cytoplasm A gel-like liquid inside the cell membrane that contains the things that the cell need to carry out life processes
Chloroplasts A special part of a plant that traps the energy in sunlight for making food.
Genus A classification group of similar, closely related animals
Species A classification group of similar organisms that can mate and that can produce offspring
Vertebrates Animals that have backbones
Invertebrates Animals that do not have a backbone
Photosynthesis The process by which plants make their own food using light
Organisms Living things that carry out five basic life functions
Chromosomes The threadlike structures, found in the nucleus of the cell, that control an organism's traits
Vacuole A type of holding bin for food, water, and wastes in a cell
Mitochondrion The "power plant" part of a cell that burns food in order to give the cell energy
Cell Membrane A thin covering that surrounds the cell. Among other things, it protects the cell and controls materials going through the cell.
Cell Wall A thick, stiff structure that protects and supports a plant cell
Tissue A group of similar cells that work together to carry out a specific job
Organ A group of tissues that work together to do certain jobs
Traits A characteristic of a living thing that can be used to classify livings things
Created by: Rvanmeter