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Cells

Vocabulary

TermDefinition
bacterium a simple single-celled organism that does not have a membrane-bound nucleus and is a prokaryotic cell (plural: bacteria)
cell the basic structural unit of all living things.
cell membrane the thin layer of membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in a cell.
chlorophyll a green molecule in plant cells that traps sunlight, uses the light energy to break down carbon dioxide and water and recombine them to form glucose and oxygen; gives plants their green color.
chloroplast in plant cells, a chlorophyll-containing organelle in which photosynthesis takes place.
chromosome a single long molecule of DNA and any associated proteins; carries the genetic information for a cell.
cytoplasm a jellylike mass of material in a cell that contains DNA, the information for the cell's life processes (including reproduction).
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid; the genetic material organized in protein structures called chromosomes, passed on to each generation of cells.
epithelial tissue tissue with tightly packed cells that lines, covers, and protects animal organs and other body parts from injury and infection; also connects parts of plants.
eukaryote an organism with complex cells with distinctive traits, including a nucleus; may be either unicellular or multicellular.
glucose a simple sugar that green pants produce during photosynthesis.
mitochondria organelles that break down organic molecules from nutrient substances (food) to produce energy for the cell to use.
moneran a cell that has no defined nucleus; also known as a prokaryote.
nuclear membrane the double membrane that surrounds the nucleus of a cell; also called the nuclear envelope.
nucleus in eukaryotic cells, the part of the cells that contains the DNA.
organ a combination of tissues functioning as a whole by working together.
organelle a discrete, membrane-bound structure within a cell where cell activities are carried out.
prokaryote a unicellular organism that has no defined nucleus, e.g. bacteria
system a set of interacting elements, e.g., a set of organs that work together to perform a function.
tissue a group of cells with similar fuctions that work together.
vacuole a small space or cavity in the cytoplasm of a cell; usually used for storage of a fluid, e.g., water, food, or waste.