A complicated little city, self-sufficient and perfectly functional, it basically runs itself (and no we’re not talking about a car).
Get it yet? No?
…Alrighty… Just gonna jump right in and present you with this bit of awesomeness:
EUKARYOPOLIS!!! Very original Hank, very original. His video is pretty good at describing the eukaryotic cell structure including organelles and their functions, (without going into too much headache-inducing detail). Starting with some basic cell history it mentions British scientist, Robert Hooke, and his discovery of the cell and even describes the selectively permeable cell membrane and cytoplasm as a “squishy swamp land”.
Every organelle does its job, ensuring that the cell functions efficiently. Lysosomes have enzymes for cellular and waste digestion, smooth ER contain enzymes for lipid synthesis, while rough ER have ribosomes for protein synthesis and the Golgi apparatus (kind of like a Fed-Ex or UPS) packages and sends proteins where they need to go.
The nucleus, being the all-powerful the leader of this great civilization, controls all of the organelles within its city, and believe me, it’s definitely not a democracy. Nevertheless it’s incredibly important as it contains our DNA and has a nucleolus which makes ribosomal RNA; dictator though it may be, we probably wouldn’t be here without it.
Chromosomes, fruit flies and hedgehogs were briefly mentioned (don’t ask, just watch the video if you haven’t yet) and then finally there was the all mighty, defiantly different Mitochondria!
No matter how awesome (or different) our mighty mitochondria are, sometimes the poor things just don’t get it right. Mitochondrial diseases are often caused by spontaneous or inherited mutations in mitochondrial DNA. One such disease is the rare Leigh’s Syndrome, in which the genetic mutation disrupts one or more of the protein complexes needed for ATP production in oxidative phosphorylation. Bad things happen when ‘M’ has a bad day on the job.
The history of cell biology is as convoluted as the cell itself. From vague theories to
weird bold ideas, cell city has a very strange and interesting history. Brave pioneers like Hooke, Schleiden, Schwann and Virchow led the way in what we now call cytology, the study of cells, kicking butt and taking names (not really).
These brave men (after much deliberation, and disagreement), contributed to what we know today as “The Cell Theory” paving the way for countless other developments in the field of Biology. Gentlemen, we salute you!
- TED-Ed. “The wacky history of cell theory – Lauren Royal-Woods.” 2012. http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-wacky- history-of-cell-theory#watch
- Mason, Kenneth A, Jonathan B Losos, Susan R Singer, Peter H Raven and George B Johnson. Biology. New York N.Y.: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
- Umdf.org. “Leigh’s Disease-The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.” 2014. http://www.umdf.org/site/c.8qKOJ0MvF7LUG/b.8637485/k.8A22/Leighs_Disease.htm
- Green, Hank. “Eukaryopolis – The City of Animal Cells.” Crash Course Biology #4. 20 Feb 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj8dDTHGJBY
- Sparknotes LLC. “Biochemistry.” Digital image, 2014. http://infographicality.com/sc-biology-a-infographic/