Cells are the smallest independent functional units of life. Plants, animals and human beings, are all made of cells. Different components within a cell (called organelles), perform various tasks.
A lot of what is going on inside a cell is simpler to understand if we make an analogy between a biological cell, and a city. For example,
- The cytoplasm is analogous to the open space of a city. It contains all of the organelles within itself, the same way the open space contains all of the different city parts.
- The nucleus is analogous to the city hall. It lies in the centre of the cell and controls all the activities of the cell.
- The mitochondria is like a power plant, in charge of energy creation.
- The vacuole is analogous to the water tower. It holds water and saves it for a time when the cell needs it.
- The Golgi apparatus performs a function similar to that of a post office. It manages materials.
- The ribosome is like a factory, creating proteins that a cell can use.
- The lysosomes represents the waste management and recycling center. The function of the lysosomes in the cell is to break down large food particles into smaller ones, and to recycle old cell parts into usable materials.
- The cell membrane controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell, just like a toll booth which regulates what moves in and out of the city.
- Also, the same way a city has trees and plants which perform photosynthesis, plant cells have chloroplasts which contain chlorophyll and perform photosynthesis.
Think and see if you can come up with more such analogies, and share it with everyone by replying to this discussion! :)