Cell Biology - High School

You can't learn by osmosis, so practice this list of essential terms related to cell biology. You'll master the difference between mitosis and meiosis, study cell structure, and review cellular processes like respiration, division, and photosynthesis.
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  1. active transport
    transport of a substance (as a protein or drug) across a cell membrane against the concentration gradient; requires an expenditure of energy
  2. aerobic
    depending on free oxygen or air
  3. anabolic
    of or related to the synthetic phase of metabolism
  4. anabolism
    the synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances (e.g., living tissue) from simpler ones together with the storage of energy
  5. anaerobic
    not using or dependent on oxygen
  6. anaphase
    the stage of meiosis or mitosis when chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
  7. apoptosis
    a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate cells that threaten the animal's survival
  8. ATP
    a nucleotide derived from adenosine that occurs in muscle tissue; the major source of energy for cellular reactions
  9. catabolic
    relating to or characterized by catabolism
  10. catabolism
    breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy
  11. cell
    the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms
  12. cell division
    the process in reproduction and growth by which a cell divides to form daughter cells
  13. cell membrane
    a thin membrane enclosing the cytoplasm of a cell
  14. cell theory
    (biology) the theory that cells form the fundamental structural and functional units of all living organisms; proposed in 1838 by Matthias Schleiden and by Theodor Schwann
  15. cell wall
    a rigid layer of polysaccharides enclosing a plant membrane
  16. cellular respiration
    the metabolic processes whereby certain organisms obtain energy from organic molecules; processes that take place in the cells and tissues during which energy is released and carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the blood to be transported to the lungs
  17. cellulose
    a polysaccharide that is the chief constituent of all plant tissues and fibers
  18. centriole
    one of a pair of small cylindrical cell organelles near the nucleus in animal cells; composed of nine triplet microtubules and form the asters during mitosis
  19. centromere
    a specialized condensed region of each chromosome that appears during mitosis where the chromatids are held together to form an X shape
  20. chloroplast
    organelle in which photosynthesis takes place
  21. cholesterol
    a substance in the blood that can cause heart disease
  22. chromatid
    one of two identical strands into which a chromosome splits during mitosis
  23. chromatin
    the readily stainable substance of a cell nucleus consisting of DNA and RNA and various proteins; during mitotic division it condenses into chromosomes
  24. chromoplast
    plastid containing pigments other than chlorophyll usually yellow or orange carotenoids
  25. chromosome
    a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes
  26. cilium
    a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell
  27. concentration gradient
    a gradient in concentration of a solute as a function of distance through a solution
  28. cytokinesis
    organic process consisting of the division of the cytoplasm of a cell following karyokinesis bringing about the separation into two daughter cells
  29. cytoplasm
    the substance inside a cell, not including the nucleus
  30. cytoskeleton
    a microscopic network of actin filaments and microtubules in the cytoplasm of many living cells that gives the cell shape and coherence
  31. cytosol
    the aqueous part of the cytoplasm within which various particles and organelles are suspended
  32. daughter cell
    a cell formed by the division or budding of another cell
  33. differentiation
    the adaptation of a cell or body part for some function
  34. diffusion
    movement of a substance from an area of high concentration
  35. diploid
    an organism or cell having the normal amount of DNA per cell
  36. DNA
    material that carries genetic information in a cell
  37. enzyme
    a complex protein produced by cells that acts as a catalyst
  38. eukaryote
    an organism of one or more cells with membrane-bound nuclei
  39. extracellular
    located or occurring outside a cell or cells
  40. fermentation
    breaking down an organic substance, as sugar into alcohol
  41. fertilization
    creation by the physical union of male and female gametes
  42. filtration
    the process whereby fluids pass through a filter or a filtering medium
  43. flagellum
    a lash-like appendage used for locomotion
  44. gamete
    a mature sexual reproductive cell
  45. glycolysis
    metabolic process that breaks down carbohydrates and sugars
  46. Golgi apparatus
    a netlike structure in the cytoplasm of animal cells
  47. haploid
    (genetics) an organism or cell having only one complete set of chromosomes
  48. homeostasis
    metabolic equilibrium maintained by biological mechanisms
  49. hydrophilic
    having a strong affinity for water
  50. hydrophobic
    lacking affinity for water
  51. hypertonic
    having a higher osmotic pressure than a comparison solution
  52. hypotonic
    having a lower osmotic pressure than a comparison solution
  53. isotonic
    having the same or equal osmotic pressure
  54. Krebs cycle
    in all plants and animals, a series of enzymatic reactions in mitochondria involving oxidative metabolism of acetyl compounds to produce high-energy phosphate compounds that are the source of cellular energy
  55. lipid
    oily, insoluble organic compound that's a component of cells
  56. lysosome
    a membrane-bound organelle containing digestive enzymes
  57. metaphase
    the second stage of meiosis
  58. metastasis
    the spreading of a disease to another part of the body
  59. microscopic
    so small as to be invisible without a magnifying device
  60. microtubule
    a microscopically small tubule
  61. mitochondrion
    part of a cell involved in energy production
  62. mitosis
    the process by which a cell divides into two smaller cells
  63. molecule
    the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
  64. multicellular
    consisting of many basic structural and functional units
  65. mutagen
    any agent (physical or environmental) that can induce a genetic mutation or can increase the rate of mutation
  66. nucleated
    having a nucleus or occurring in the nucleus
  67. nucleolus
    a round body in a cell that is involved in protein synthesis
  68. nucleoplasm
    the protoplasm that constitutes the nucleus of a cell
  69. nucleus
    a part of the cell responsible for growth and reproduction
  70. organ
    a structure in an animal specialized for some function
  71. organelle
    a specialized part of a cell; analogous to an organ
  72. osmosis
    diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane
  73. passive transport
    transport of a substance across a cell membrane by diffusion
  74. permeable
    allowing fluids or gases to pass or diffuse through
  75. phagocytosis
    process in which phagocytes engulf and digest microorganisms and cellular debris; an important defense against infection
  76. phospholipid
    any of various compounds composed of fatty acids and phosphoric acid and a nitrogenous base; an important constituent of membranes
  77. photosynthesis
    formation of compounds in plants aided by radiant energy
  78. pilus
    hairlike structure especially on the surface of a cell or microorganism
  79. pinocytosis
    process by which certain cells can engulf and incorporate droplets of fluid
  80. plant cell
    a cell that is a structural and functional unit of a plant
  81. plasma membrane
    a thin membrane enclosing the cytoplasm of a cell
  82. plastid
    any of various small particles in the cytoplasm of the cells of plants and some animals containing pigments or starch or oil or protein
  83. prokaryote
    a unicellular organism lacking a membrane-bound nucleus
  84. prophase
    the first stage of meiosis
  85. protein
    an organic compound essential to living cells
  86. pseudopod
    temporary outgrowth of a cell used for locomotion or feeding
  87. pyruvic acid
    a colorless acid formed as an important intermediate in metabolism or fermentation
  88. ribosome
    a particle in a cell that helps synthesize proteins
  89. somatic cell
    a cell that does not participate in reproduction
  90. specialization
    the structural adaptation of some body part for a function
  91. specialized
    developed or designed for a particular activity or function
  92. stem cell
    an undifferentiated cell whose daughter cells may differentiate into other cell types (such as blood cells)
  93. substrate
    the material that is acted upon by an enzyme
  94. telophase
    the final stage of meiosis when the chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
  95. tissue
    part of an organism consisting of an aggregate of cells
  96. transformation
    modification of a cell by the uptake of exogenous DNA
  97. unicellular
    having a single basic functional unit, of an organism
  98. vacuole
    a tiny cavity filled with fluid in the cytoplasm of a cell
  99. vesicle
    a small anatomically normal sac or bladderlike structure
  100. zygote
    the cell from the union of a haploid spermatozoon and ovum
Created on February 6, 2017 (updated April 5, 2017)

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