Concept

Cell (biology)

Summary
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all forms of life. Every cell consists of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane, and contains many macromolecules such as proteins, DNA and RNA, as well as many small molecules of nutrients and metabolites. The term comes from the Latin word cellula meaning 'small room'. Cells can acquire specified function and carry out various tasks within the cell such as replication, DNA repair, protein synthesis, and motility. Cells are capable of specialization and mobility within the cell. Most plant and animal cells are only visible under a light microscope, with dimensions between 1 and 100 micrometres. Electron microscopy gives a much higher resolution showing greatly detailed cell structure. Organisms can be classified as unicellular (consisting of a single cell such as bacteria) or multicellular (including plants and animals). Most unicellular organisms are classed as microorganisms. The number of cells in plants and animals v
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