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Active transport

The process which uses energy to move substances against a concentration gradient or across a partially permeable membrane using a special transport protein.

Organelles

A distinct part of the cell, such as the nucleus, ribosome or mitochondrion, which has structure and function.

Diffusion

The spreading out of the particles of a gas or any substance in solution down a concentration gradient

Osmosis

The movement of water through a partially permeable membrane down a concentration gradient from a dilute solution (where there is a high concentration of water) to a concentrated solution (where there is a relatively low concentration of water).

Animal cells and plant cells

Cells are building blocks, and there are different parts in different types of cells. Each of these parts, or organelles, has a particular function within the cell, just as each type of cell has a particular function in the body.

Organelle Present in animal cells? Present in plant cells? Function
Cell membrane Yes Yes The barrier of the cell, regulates what can get in and out of the cell.
Cell wall No Yes Gives the cell support and protection.
Cytoplasm Yes Yes The inside of the cell, where most cellular reactions occur.
Mitochondria Yes Yes The ‘powerhouse of the cell’, where energy for the cell is generated.
Nucleus Yes Yes Contains the cell’s genetic blueprint (its DNA).
Chloroplast No Yes The location of photosynthesis.
Vacuole No Yes Keeps the cell rigid.

Both animal and plant cells rely on the ability to let certain molecules enter the leave the cell, such as oxygen. They do this through certain processes, such as diffusion. The animation below explains diffusion, osmosis and active transport, which are fundamental to a cell’s survival.

Exam style questions

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