Respiration occurs in every cell of your body. To understand respiration you maty need to find out more about cells and how they work. Do you know what the major organelles of the cell are called, and what each of these structures does?
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When you look inside a cell you see many different structures called organelles. Each organelle has a function of its own, allowing the cell to live and work within our bodies.
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The cell membrane
The cell membrane packages up the cell and all its organelles. Water, energy, and nutrients enter the cell, and waste material leaves the cell through the cell membrane.
The cytoplasm of a cell is not really an organelle - it is the fluid the organelles are bathed in. It contains proteins, sugars and other substances that help the cell function properly.
Vacuoles are storage areas. They are surrounded by membranes and filled with liquid or solid material. Vacuoles are much bigger in plant cells.
The golgi body
The golgi body (or the golgi apparatus) makes some of the chemicals produced within the cell. It also collects and packages chemicals for transport to different parts of the cell.
Lysosomes contain enzymes that break down cell material (if these enzymes were not contained within lysosomes, they would eat away the cell). When organelles have 'died' they are surrounded by the lysosome and broken down by the enzymes.
Rough endoplasmic reticulum
Endoplasmic reticulum is made up of a network of membranes folded into a series of sheets or tubes. Rough endoplasmic reticulum is covered in ribosomes, giving it a grainy look. Proteins are made here and are packaged up for transport around, or out of, the cell.
Smooth endoplasmic reticulum
Endoplasmic reticulum is made up of a network of membranes folded into a series of sheets or tubes. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum has different functions in different cells.
Mitochondria are very important organelles - it is in the mitochondria that respiration occurs. There are thousands of them in every cell in your body. They often called the 'power houses' of the cell.
The nucleus is the largest organelle within animal cells. The nucleus controls cell activity. It also contains the cell's chromosomes. The chromosomes are made up of the genetic information (the DNA) that makes you who you are.
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