You can describe cells and

You can describe cells and the structure and function of their organelles with analogies. For example, the plasma membrane is a semi-permeable membrane that allows some materials to pass through but prevents other substances from entering (or leaving). This characteristic of the cell membrane is analogous to a Customs Agent at a border crossing, who lets some travelers pass through the border who possess the correct passport and identification, but prevents persons with incorrect identification to pass.

Your assignment this week is to create an analogy of a cell to a real-world system using the structure and functions of as many organelles as possible. For example, a cell could be analogous to a cookie factory. The nucleus (the control center of the cell) is the central office where the secret cookie recipe, the DNA, is stored. A company messenger, the RNA, copies the recipe in the nucleus and brings it to the baker, the ribosome. The vacuoles are analogous to the tubs that store the ingredients used to make the cookies.

The ribosome uses the recipe copied by the DNA to make the cookies, or proteins. The mitochondria is the oven that bakes the cookies. The cookies are sent on conveyor belts (the endoplasmic reticulum) to the packing department, the Golgi apparatus, where they are packaged and labeled for shipping; the packaged cookies are then sent out of the cell through the cell membrane via vesicles (delivery trucks). The lysosome is the janitor that sweeps up any stray crumbs.

I would like you to write your own analogy of a cell which incorporates as many of the functions of the organelles we have studied in Chapter 4 as possible. I have seen some good analogies using Jell-O salad in a balloon, a post office, the government, and rooms in a house.

Be creative! When you type in your response, please label your subject heading with the title of your analogy. For example, I would title my analogy as “Cookie Factory.”

List of cellular structures to include in your analogy:

  • Plasma membrane
  • Cytoskeleton (animals) / Cell walls (plants)
  • Cytoplasm
  • Nucleus
  • DNA
  • Mitochondria
  • Chloroplasts
  • Ribosomes
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (smooth vs rough -include one or both, if applicable)
  • Golgi complex
  • Lysosomes
  • Cilia & flagella (if applicable)

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