Characteristics of the human cell

Humans have from 75 to 100 billion cells, some of them barely 0.01 mm in diameter and with multiple tasks to fulfill. Do you want to know what the human cell is? In this article we talk about the parts of the human cell , its main characteristics and some diseases directly related to it.

What are Human cells

Human cells are the basic building blocks of the human body. They are the smallest units of life and carry out all the functions necessary for the body to function properly. Here are some key points about human cells:

  1. Cell Structure: Human cells have a typical eukaryotic cell structure, consisting of a cell membrane, cytoplasm, and a nucleus. The cell membrane acts as a protective barrier, controlling the movement of substances in and out of the cell. The cytoplasm is a gel-like substance that fills the cell and contains various organelles, including the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and more. The nucleus houses the genetic material of the cell, which is DNA.
  2. Types of Cells: There are various types of human cells, each specialized for specific functions. Some examples include muscle cells, nerve cells, blood cells, skin cells, and bone cells. These different cell types have unique structures and functions that enable them to perform their specific roles in the body.
  3. Cell Division: Human cells can undergo cell division to produce new cells for growth, repair, and maintenance. The two main types of cell division are mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis produces two identical daughter cells with the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell, while meiosis produces gametes (sperm and egg cells) with half the number of chromosomes.
  4. Cellular Functions: Human cells perform a wide range of functions essential for the body’s survival. This includes energy production through cellular respiration in the mitochondria, protein synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum, transport of substances in and out of the cell through the cell membrane, and communication between cells through chemical signals.
  5. Cell Specialization: Cells in the human body can differentiate and specialize to perform specific functions. This specialization allows for the organization of cells into tissues, organs, and organ systems, each contributing to the overall function of the body. For example, muscle cells contract to allow movement, while nerve cells transmit electrical signals for communication.

In summary, human cells are the fundamental units of life in the human body. They have specific structures, functions, and abilities to divide and specialize, allowing for the proper functioning of tissues, organs, and systems in the human body.

Characteristics of the human cell

You might think that the human cell has the same parts as every animal cell, and you are right. But wait, the body of human beings differs in many aspects from that of other animals, so the characteristics of their cellular composition are particular. 75-100 billion cells distributed throughout the body. More than 200 main types. Thousands of tasks. Cells are the bastion of the body, like pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly in specific areas and, once joined together, constitute a whole.

The cell is a tiny living being that measures about 0.01 millimeters in diameter , but some, such as eggs, can be seen without using an electron microscope. Still, most human cells are no wider than a strand of hair.

The functions of human cells are diverse . Some that share structural characteristics come together and form tissues specialized in one or more functions, but others have a single specialized function. For example, red blood cells or erythrocytes are blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen to body tissues, photoreceptor cells in the retina generate electrical signals when detecting light, and sperm have the mission of fertilizing an egg.

Parts of the human cell

Like every animal cell, the parts of the human cell are the following:

  • Nucleus : it is the cellular control center and the place where genetic information is found. It occupies 10% of the entire human cell.
  • Nucleolus : the very center of the cell nucleus. There, syntheses necessary for the production of ribosomes occur.
  • Nuclear membrane : It is a thin two-layer membrane. Its surface contains pores that allow the introduction and expulsion of substances to the core.
  • Cytoplasm : fluid of gelatinous consistency in which the organelles are found.
  • Mitochondria : organelle that, through enzymes, converts the energy of food into adenosine triphosphate so that the cell can digest fats and sugars and produce energy.
  • Vacuole : bag-shaped organelle capable of storing and transporting water, waste, and various ingested substances.
  • Ribosome : organelle that helps synthesize proteins. It can float free in the cytoplasm or be associated with the endoplasmic reticulum.
  • Smooth endoplasmic reticulum : It is a network of flat but curved tubes and bags that carries out fat metabolism, stores calcium, and supports the transport of materials through the cell.
  • Rough endoplasmic reticulum – A network of folded, curved membranes that produces proteins and helps transport materials through the cell.
  • Lysosome : enzyme-producing organelle to aid in digestion. In addition, it promotes the elimination of waste substances and worn-out organelles.
  • Golgi apparatus : packages processed molecules in the rough endoplasmic reticulum for transport out of the cell.
  • Centriole : It is made up of two tubules important in cell reproduction.
  • Cell membrane : surrounds the cytoplasm and the entire cell, so that it maintains its shape and monitors the entry and exit of substances.
  • Nucleoplasm : is the liquid contained within the nucleus, where the chromosomes and nucleolus float.
  • Cytoskeleton : network of long fibers and hollow microtubules. It functions as the support or structural framework of the human cell. It intervenes in cell division.
  • Microfilaments : very thin and flexible filaments that make up the cytoskeleton and provide support to the cell.
  • Peroxisome : organelle that produces enzymes necessary for the oxidation of various toxic substances.
  • Secretory vesicle : structure that contains various types of substances that the cell produces and the cell membrane secretes.
  • Microtubules : polymers arranged in the shape of a tube that are part of the cytoskeleton.

Cancer is the multiplication of cells in an abnormal way, covering areas that they should not occupy.

Diseases and disorders associated with cells

Although many diseases, disorders or illnesses affect cells in some way, some are directly related to cellular alterations that do not originate from a bacteria, virus or other microorganism. For example:

  • The cells multiply abnormally and, when they spread to areas where they do not normally grow, they form lumps or excrescences that can become tumors and lead to death. It can be caused by defective genes, carcinogens and even be favored by the advanced age of the individual. Genetic mutations are usually responsible for abnormal proliferation. Cancer can occur in many parts of the human body.
  • Plasma cell neoplasms . The body produces an excess of plasma cells, those released by B lymphocytes in the bone marrow. As a result, tumors form in the bones or soft tissues. Plasma cell neoplasms are cancerous (related to cancer).
  • Mitochondrial diseases . They are disorders that affect the individual when the mitochondria have failures in their functions. This usually has its origin in mutations made in the DNA located in the mitochondria. Some mitochondrial diseases are diabetes mellitus and those related to multiple sclerosis.
  • Sickle cell anemia . Red blood cells take on a curved shape due to a mutation in the hemoglobin gene. This shape prevents them from easily passing through the thinnest blood vessels, thus preventing sufficient blood supply to some organs.
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