Cell Biology - Middle 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. anaerobic
    not using or dependent on oxygen
  4. anaphase
    the stage of meiosis or mitosis when chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
  5. ATP
    a nucleotide derived from adenosine that occurs in muscle tissue; the major source of energy for cellular reactions
  6. cell
    the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms
  7. cell division
    the process in reproduction and growth by which a cell divides to form daughter cells
  8. cell membrane
    a thin membrane enclosing the cytoplasm of a cell
  9. 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
  10. cell wall
    a rigid layer of polysaccharides enclosing a plant membrane
  11. 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
  12. cellulose
    a polysaccharide that is the chief constituent of all plant tissues and fibers
  13. 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
  14. centromere
    a specialized condensed region of each chromosome that appears during mitosis where the chromatids are held together to form an X shape
  15. chloroplast
    organelle in which photosynthesis takes place
  16. chromatid
    one of two identical strands into which a chromosome splits during mitosis
  17. chromatin
    the readily stainable substance of a cell nucleus consisting of DNA and RNA and various proteins; during mitotic division it condenses into chromosomes
  18. chromoplast
    plastid containing pigments other than chlorophyll usually yellow or orange carotenoids
  19. chromosome
    a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes
  20. cilium
    a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell
  21. concentration gradient
    a gradient in concentration of a solute as a function of distance through a solution
  22. cytokinesis
    organic process consisting of the division of the cytoplasm of a cell following karyokinesis bringing about the separation into two daughter cells
  23. cytoplasm
    the substance inside a cell, not including the nucleus
  24. cytoskeleton
    a microscopic network of actin filaments and microtubules in the cytoplasm of many living cells that gives the cell shape and coherence
  25. daughter cell
    a cell formed by the division or budding of another cell
  26. differentiation
    the adaptation of a cell or body part for some function
  27. diffusion
    movement of a substance from an area of high concentration
  28. diploid
    an organism or cell having the normal amount of DNA per cell
  29. DNA
    material that carries genetic information in a cell
  30. eukaryote
    an organism of one or more cells with membrane-bound nuclei
  31. extracellular
    located or occurring outside a cell or cells
  32. flagellum
    a lash-like appendage used for locomotion
  33. gamete
    a mature sexual reproductive cell
  34. Golgi apparatus
    a netlike structure in the cytoplasm of animal cells
  35. haploid
    (genetics) an organism or cell having only one complete set of chromosomes
  36. lysosome
    a membrane-bound organelle containing digestive enzymes
  37. meiosis
    cell division that produces reproductive cells
  38. metaphase
    the second stage of meiosis
  39. metastasis
    the spreading of a disease to another part of the body
  40. microscopic
    so small as to be invisible without a magnifying device
  41. mitochondrion
    part of a cell involved in energy production
  42. mitosis
    the process by which a cell divides into two smaller cells
  43. molecule
    the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
  44. multicellular
    consisting of many basic structural and functional units
  45. mutagen
    any agent (physical or environmental) that can induce a genetic mutation or can increase the rate of mutation
  46. nucleolus
    a round body in a cell that is involved in protein synthesis
  47. nucleus
    a part of the cell responsible for growth and reproduction
  48. organ
    a structure in an animal specialized for some function
  49. organelle
    a specialized part of a cell; analogous to an organ
  50. osmosis
    diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane
  51. passive transport
    transport of a substance across a cell membrane by diffusion
  52. permeable
    allowing fluids or gases to pass or diffuse through
  53. photosynthesis
    formation of compounds in plants aided by radiant energy
  54. pilus
    hairlike structure especially on the surface of a cell or microorganism
  55. plant cell
    a cell that is a structural and functional unit of a plant
  56. plasma membrane
    a thin membrane enclosing the cytoplasm of a cell
  57. 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
  58. prokaryote
    a unicellular organism lacking a membrane-bound nucleus
  59. prophase
    the first stage of meiosis
  60. protein
    an organic compound essential to living cells
  61. pseudopod
    temporary outgrowth of a cell used for locomotion or feeding
  62. ribosome
    a particle in a cell that helps synthesize proteins
  63. somatic cell
    a cell that does not participate in reproduction
  64. specialization
    the structural adaptation of some body part for a function
  65. specialized
    developed or designed for a particular activity or function
  66. stem cell
    an undifferentiated cell whose daughter cells may differentiate into other cell types (such as blood cells)
  67. telophase
    the final stage of meiosis when the chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle
  68. tissue
    part of an organism consisting of an aggregate of cells
  69. unicellular
    having a single basic functional unit, of an organism
  70. vacuole
    a tiny cavity filled with fluid in the cytoplasm of a cell
  71. vesicle
    a small anatomically normal sac or bladderlike structure
  72. 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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