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What is the purpose of the nucleolus?

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Quick Answer

The nucleolus works to transcribe ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and it forms incomplete ribosomes by combining proteins and rRNA. Other functions of this structure include transporting molecules, vital substances and ions to ensure efficient cell metabolism.

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Full Answer

The nucleolus is inside a cell's nucleus and they are only present in eukaryotic cells, which includes both plant cells and animal cells. This structure comprises about 25 percent of a cell's volume. Its structure is generally small, granular and round, and protein and RNA make up this structure. Depending on the host, there may be one nucleoli or many of them because different life forms require different amounts for life.

If the nucleoli malfunction, this may result in a number of diseases and conditions, specifically those classified as neurodegenerative disorders. Examples of neurodegenerative disorders include Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. This type of disease is progressive and there is no cure for either disease.

The nucleolus is comprised of the dense fibrillar component, the fibrillar centers and the granular components. They form around nucleolar organizing regions, which is where the cell's chromosomal region, and this type of organization defines this structure as a genetically determined element. Tandem repeats of rRNA genes make up the nucleolar organizing regions.

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