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Key terms from our Cells and Genes unit.


where DNA is stored in the cell


a compartment in the nucleus where ribosomes are made


the goo that fills the cell and contains all the other organelles

cell membrane

the outer covering of the cell; controls what enters and exits the cell


a network of fibers that gives the cell its shape and allows molecules to move around inside the cell


the organelle that breaks things down so that their parts can be reused by the cell


the organelle that converts food into usable energy

golgi body

where particles produced by the cell are packaged for distribution


the organelle that puts proteins together

rough endoplasmic reticulum

a maze in the cell lined with ribosomes; where proteins are produced

smooth endoplasmic reticulum

a maze in the cell where fats (or lipids) are produced


a storage container in the cell; often contains water, nutrients, or wastes


the organelle where photosynthesis, which converts sunlight into sugar (food), takes place

cell wall

the tough outer covering of plant cells that helps them stand up straight


the tiny hair-like structures that stick out from the surface of a cell to help it move


a whip-like tail that helps a cell move


the fake foot some cells make to help them move and/or eat

active transport

when things go through a cell membrane using energy from the cell; proceeds against the concentration gradient

passive transport

when things go through a cell membrane using no energy; proceeds down the concentration gradient


when small molecules pass directly through the cell membrane; a form of passive transport

protein channel diffusion

when larger molecules pass through the cell membrane using a protein that acts as a tunnel; a form of passive transport


when water passes through the cell membrane; a form of passive transport


when the cell membrane forms a pocket around what it wants to ingest and engulfs it (pacman style)


a vacuole that releases molecules from inside the cell


when the concentration of a substance is higher outside a cell; causes the cell to shrink


when the concentration of a substance is lower outside a cell; causes the cell to swell up


when the concentration of a substance is the same inside and outside a cell; the cell's size does not change


a stretch of DNA that codes for a single trait


different versions of the same gene


when an organism has two copies of the same allele; represented with two letters that are the same size


when an organism has two different alleles; represented with one capital letter and one lowercase letter


an organism's physical trait; how it looks PHYSICALLY


an organism's combination of alleles; its GENES


primitive cells with no nucleus or organelles with membranes


more advanced cells that have a nucleus and many organelles with membranes

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