Cells use energy in order to grow, regulate metabolism and reproduce. This energy is obtained from a source such as food molecules or light from the sun, and through processes like glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, an energy-rich molecule is then created. The cell can then use the energy in the protein molecule to help it function.Continue Reading
The powerhouse of an animal cell is called the mitochondria. In plants, chloroplasts carry out a similar function. Eukaryotic cells, or cells that contain a nucleus (which includes both plant and animal cells), can use three different modes to create energy molecules from an energy source.
Glycolysis, also known as fermentation, involves dividing a glucose (sugar) molecule into two molecules of a new substance called pyruvate. No oxygen is needed for this reaction, but if some is present, then the pyruvate molecules can enter the mitochondria to be transformed into two acetyl-CoA molecules and one carbon dioxide molecule. This particular energy process is called the citric acid cycle.
The third and final process is oxidative phosphorylation, which involves a gradient of protons forming as electrons pass through protein complexes in the inner membrane of the mitochondria.
If there is an abundant energy source present, cells can also make larger molecules to store for later, called polysaccharides and lipids (sugars and fats).Learn more about Cells
Cells come from preexisting cells, according to the cell theory compiled by Rudolph Virchow. The older cell theory developed by Theodor Schwann and Mathias Schleiden, which was eventually proven wrong by Virchow, assumed that cells could arise spontaneously.Full Answer >
Some articles about cells include "Latest in Heart Stem Cell Debate" from The Scientist and "A Multitool for Cells" from Phys.org. Both of these websites contain many more articles about cell biology and recent discoveries about cellular function, easily found through the Related sections on both articles.Full Answer >
Cells capture the energy released by cellular respiration in adenosine triphosphate, commonly abbreviated as ATP. ATP is the main energy currency of all cells, or the molecule that carries the energy needed for all the chemical reactions the cell performs.Full Answer >
Cells that have no mitochondria are unable to convert oxygen into energy, found in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). All multicellular eukaryotic organisms, including plants and animals, have mitochondria in some cells, but prokaryotes and some single-cell eukaryotes do not have mitochondria.Full Answer >