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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?
Click on the labels around the cell if you want to find out more!

Animal cell Cell membrane Cytoplasm Vacuole Golgi body Lysosomes Ribosomes Rough endoplasmic reticulum Smooth endoplasmic reticulum Mitochondrion Nucleus

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.
Scroll down to learn more!

The cell membrane 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 The cytoplasm

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 Vacuoles

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

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 Lysosomes

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.


Ribosomes Ribosomes

There are thousands of ribosomes inside a cell. They are found in the cytoplasm, in mitochondria and they make endoplasmic reticulum rough. Ribosomes make proteins.


Rough endoplasmic reticulum 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 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 Mitochondria

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 The nucleus

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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