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Cells Glossary:

Active transport- The transport of molecules across a membrane and against their natural flow;
mediated by carrier proteins and requiring outside energy.
Adaptation: A feature of an organism that helps it meet a particular need in its natural habitat
Anaphase: Phase of cell division where the chromosomes separate to either side of the cell
Carbohydrate: An essential chemical in all cells that is broken down to form sugars; glucose,
sucrose, lactose, galactose
Carbon Dioxide: Molecule made up of one carbon and two oxygens, produced by animals and
other organisms; main contributor to manmade global warming.
Carrier protein- A protein responsible for mediating the active transport of molecules from one
side of the lipid bilayer to the other.
Channel protein - A protein responsible for mediating the passive transport of molecules from one
side of the lipid bilayer to the other. Transport is carried out by its membrane-spanning hydrophilic
structure which, when open, allows molecules to pass through.
Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of all organisms
Cell division: A process where one cell becomes more than one cell
Cell membrane: Surrounds the cell and keeps it together; also decides what material enters and
Cell organelle: Parts of the cell that perform specific functions
Cell wall: The stiff outer layer of a cell that protects the cell and gives it shape
Cellular respiration: The process where organisms get energy from organic molecules
Chloroplast: Organelle in plants and some other organisms which is responsible for photosynthesis
Chromosome: A thread-like strand of DNA or RNA in the cell
Cilia: A hair-like organelle on the outside of a cell used in movement
Diffusion: Where molecules spread out until they are evenly distributed in a medium, such as the air
DNA: Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which contains the genetic instructions for all forms of
Endocytosis: Process by which cells absorb large particles by surrounding the particles with the cell
membrane and pinching it off
Endoplasmic reticulum: A membrane network within the cytoplasm of cells involved in the synthesis,
modification, and transport of cellular materials.

Eukaryote: A type of organism that has a true nucleus in its cell(s)

Exocytosis: Process by which cells export large particles by fusion of vesicular membrane with the
outer cell membrane.
Flagella: An organelle of some prokaryotes that allows for movement and resembles a tail
Hydrophobic: Water hating
Hydrophyllic: Water loving
Life process: Something that occurs in an organism that is necessary to keep it alive
Lipid bilayer - A thin double layer of phospholipid molecules. Provides the structure of a cell
membrane. Structure is a result of hydrophobic and hydrophilic forces.
Lysosome: Organelle that digests food and waste in the cell
Metaphase: Phase of cell division where the chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell
Mitochondria: An organelle in all eukaryotic cells which is responsible for energy production
Mitosis: The process of cell division which produces two body cells from one cell
Nucleus: The command center of the cell. The location of the genetic material in eukaryotic cells.
Organ: Group of tissues that perform a certain function
Organ system: Group of organs that together perform a common function
Organelle: Part of a cell that performs a function for the cell
Organism: A living thing that can live and reproduce independently
Osmosis: When water molecules move from a higher to a lower concentration
Passive transport - Transport mediated by channel proteins. The movement of molecules across a
membrane according to the natural flow.
Peripheral protein - are not embedded within the hydrophobic region of the membrane. Instead,
they are associated with the hydrophilic heads. They can be easily removed from the lipid bilayer.
Photosynthesis: The process that happens in plants and some other organisms which takes the
sun's energy and turns it into usable energy; 6CO2 + 6H2O + Light = C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2
Phospholipid: compound that consists of a hydrophobic head and a hydrophilic tail. Forms the
lipid bilayer in cell membranes of organisms.

Prophase: Phase of cell division where chromosomes organize themselves

Ribosome: Organelle that reads the mRNA to produce proteins
Stem cell: A type of cell that can turn into any other type of cell
Telophase: Phase of cell division where cell splits into two new cells
Tissue: Group of cells that perform a similar function
Unicellular: Made up of one cell
Vacuole: Organelle that stores nutrients in the cell
Virus: A small particle that contains DNA or RNA and is able to reproduce only inside of a living cell