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Single celled organism


Organism composed of 2 or more cells functioning together as one unit. New cells result from the process of mitosis. Not all cells remain alike and can be organized into tissues, organs, organ systems and organisms.

Cell membrane

The outer boundary of ALL cells that separates the cytoplasm from the environment. Made of 2 phospholipid bilayers with embedded proteins. Is semi-permeable and flexible. It controls what enters and leaves the cell and gives the cell shape. It may be covered by a cell wall in plants, fungi and protists.


Maintaining normal ranges of conditions within a body (like a thermostat regulating house temperatures our body regulates our temperature. Maintaining a balance inside a cell. The cell membrane does this by allowing certain substances to pass through it. A cell completing its normal daily activities

Membrane protein

Proteins embedded in the cell membrane that allows cells to communicate with one another and make responses to stimuli. Marker proteins communicate with the immune or defense system to identify foreign invaders. Channel proteins allow substances to move in and out of the cell without breaking the membrane. Receptor proteins receive chemical signals and alert the cell about the surrounding environment.

Immune system

The defense system of the organism. First response is protective (do not allow anything to penetrate the organism boundary). Second defense is the white blood cells that attack and destroy foreign invaders and cause an infection. Third defense is the production of antibodies to fight off a bacteria or virus.

Endoplasmic reticulum

Series of folded tubes that divide the cell into sections. Serves as a transportation system. Because of folding it has a huge surface area for many enzymes to carry out reactions. May or may not have ribosomes attached


Inner membrane is highly folded to increase surface area so more enzymes can break down more food and release more energy in a short amount of time. Place for cellular respiration. Number of these inside a cell is proportional to the amount of activity the cell does.


Sites of protein synthesis found with all cell types. Not surrounded by a membrane. Made of RNA. Vital to the functioning of all cell types.


Organelles that store digestive enzymes that are used to digest food, destroy invaders and break down worn our cell parts


The process of cell division - one cell becoming two identical daughter cells with the same diploid number of chromosomes. A 5 step process including Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase and Cytokinesis. The chromosomes double and are sorted so that each new cell receives the correct number and kinds of chromosomes as the original parent cell contained.


The process of cells getting larger because of production of more materials or increasing the number of cells by mitosis.


The process of cells becoming specialized and taking on a specific job within the organism. Must occur after growth so that there are enough cells to become different and have the body function normally. When a cell differentiates, certain genes are shut down and only a few are allowed to operate.


Groups of cells that all carry out the same function (muscle fibers)


Groups of tissues working together to carry out the same function (stomach)

Organ system

All the organs working together to carry out the same function (digestion)


All the systems working together to carry out life processes for the individual


Un-controlled cell division. Cancer cells have either lost the ability to receive signals to quit dividing (brakes fail), or pick up too many signals to divide (accelerator is stuck). They have lost the ability to know when they are touching other cells and invading their space. They pile up on one another and rob nutrients from neighboring normal cells.


Energy currency of a cell produced by the process of cell respiration. A charged battery for the cell to use Adenosine tri phosphate


The process where sun energy is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen - in chloroplasts of plants


The process where food energy is broken down to release energy within the cell. Occurs in all cells! Aerobic processes use oxygen, Anaerobic processes do not

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