Cell, Eukaryotic - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Cell, Eukaryotic

All living organisms are composed of cells. A eukaryotic cell is a cell with a nucleus, which contains the cell's chromosomes. Plants, animals, protists, and fungi have eukaryotic cells, unlike the Eubacteria and Archaea, whose cells do not have nuclei and are therefore termed prokaryotic. In addition to having a nucleus, eukaryotic cells differ from prokaryotic cells in being larger and much more structurally and functionally complex. Eukaryotic cells contain subcompartments called organelles, which carry out specialized reactions within their boundaries. A eukaryotic cell may be an individual organism, such as the amoeba, or a highly specialized part of a multicellular organism, such as a neuron.

Physical Characteristics

A typical eukaryotic cell is about 25 micrometers in diameter, but this average hides a large range of sizes. The smallest cell is a type of green algae, Ostreococcus tauri, with a diameter of only 0.8 micrometers, about the size...

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This section contains 2,385 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Cell, Eukaryotic Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Cell, Eukaryotic from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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