What is a cell?

Cells are the basic building blocks of living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells, all with their own specialised function. 

  • Cells are the basic structures of all living organisms.
  • Cells provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food and carry out important functions.
  • Cells group together to form tissues, which in turn group together to form organs, such as the heart and brain.
  • Our cells contain a number of functional structures called organelles.
  • These organelles carry out tasks such as making proteins, processing chemicals and generating energy for the cell.
  • The nucleus is based at the centre of the cell and is the ‘control room’ for the cell.
  • The genome is found within the nucleus.

 

Illustration showing the structures of an animal cell. Image credit: Genome Research Limited

Illustration showing the structures of an animal cell. Image credit: Genome Research Limited

 

This page was last updated on 2016-01-25