An Explanation of Cellular Structures of the Plant Cell and Analogies to Contemporary Devices and Services. These devices and services are mostly drawn from science fiction and video games, as well as a present-day example for each organelle. This is due to my biology teacher being a science-fiction fan.This version has photos from a model that I constructed to go along with it. If, for some reason, you want this but can't remove the photos, comment and I'll happily post an edited copy.
An Explanation of Cellular Structures of the Plant Cell and Analogies to Contemporary and Fictional Devices and Services.
Name: Class: Biology 11 Date:
An Explanation of Cellular Structures of the Plant Cell and Analogies to Contemporary and Fictional Devices and Services.Organelle 1: Cell Wall: The cell wall is a rigid layer that surrounds the plant cell, just outside of the cell membrane. The cell wall grants the plant a measure of rigidity, allowing it to begin the process of morphogenesis. It also prevents large, potentially toxic molecules from permeating the cell (with the exceptions of carbon dioxide and water), and it assists in retaining water. The cell wall is primarily composed of cellulose, a complex carbohydrate consisting of a linear chain of glucose molecules, hundreds or thousands of units long. The cell wall contains up to three layers; the outermost being the middle lamella, which forms the interface of the cells, and bonds them together. The next layer is the primary cell wall; a thin, elastic layer formed during cell growth. The final layer is the secondary cell wall, a broad layer formed within the primary cell wall following cell growth. An analogy for the cell wall would be a city wall. Much as the city wall in ancient times protected the various industries and resources from raiders and foreigners, the cell wall protects the cell from toxic molecules and other organisms which could damage vital internal processes. Another analogy would be that of the mighty Eleventh Colossus, whose protective shielding defends against even the most powerful attacks.
Organelle 2: Cell Membrane: The cell membranes primary function is to isolate the organelles inside the cell from the extracellular universe. It is selectively permeable, thus it can allow
nutrients and wastes to pass n and out of the cell, while hindering the passage of unwanted particulates and viral entities. The cell membrane also serves as a means of intercellular communication; proteins embedded in the membrane can be interpreted by the protein receptors of other cells. Other proteins on the surface of the cell membrane serve to identify the cell to its brethren. An analogy for the cell membrane could be Customs and Immigration, a service which, much like the cell membrane, either accepts or rejects foreign objects. Another analogy for the cell membrane could be the Gamorrean guards of Jabba the Hutts palace. They were responsible for granting or refusing entrance to the palace.
Organelle 3: Mitochondrion: The mitochondria of a cell are primarily responsible for ATP production (ATP being a nucleotide, and the primary source of energy for cellular metabolism). Mitochondria are also responsible for some steroid production, as well as apoptosis. As mitochondria are responsible for providing a cell with energy, a fitting analogy would be a power plant. Both a mitochondria and a power plant produce energy to fuel other industries. A similar analogy would see a mitochondrion compared to a warp core, from Star Trek. It produces energy, and, if need be, can be called upon to destroy the entire ship/cell.
Organelle 4: Chloroplast: Chloroplasts capture light energy to produce ATP through an intricate set of reactions labeled photosynthesis. The material contained inside the chloroplast is called the stroma. The stroma contains one or multiple molecules of small circular DNA. It also contains ribosomes, although most of its proteins are encoded by genes contained in the nucleus, with the protein products transported to the chloroplast. The stroma contains a group of sub-organelles known as the thylakoids. Thylakoids are the site of photosynthetic processes. Current studies are producing evidence that all chloroplasts within a cell are interconnected, and can exchange required chemicals and nutrients An analogy for the chloroplast would be a solar panel. Both the solar panel (technically called a photovoltaic panel) and the chloroplast convert electromagnetic radiation into usable energy. Another analogy would be Flaahgraa, from Metroid Prime, who derives its destructive powers from light reflected upon it by a group of mirrors.
Organelle 5: Vacuole: The vacuole (present in eukaryotic cells) is essentially a membrane-enclosed pocket within the cytoplasm. The vacuole has no specific shape or size. Instead, it can morph and adjust to the cells needs. A vacuole serves multiple roles within a cell, including: Isolating and containing waste products, containing nutrients, maintaining a viable hydrostatic (turgor) pressure and exporting unwanted materials from the cell. In plant cells, the vacuole is massive, occupying between 30 and 90 percent of the cytoplasm. The membrane which serves to encapsulate the vacuole is known as the tonoplast. The vacuole is analogous to civic containment facilities (water towers, dump, and warehouses) for obvious reasons, waste and liquid containment, etc. It is also analogous to the treasure chests from the Legend of Zelda series of video games.
The chests contain beneficial items, potions and other treasures, just as the vacuole contains the treasures of nutrients and fluids.
Organelle 6: Nucleus: The nucleus of a cell is a membrane- enclosed organelle. It contains the cells genetic information, which is structured into chromosomes. It is the primary duty of the nucleus to protect these chromosomes and to control gene expression in the cell. The protective membrane which surrounds the nucleus is known as the nuclear envelope. Because this envelope is itself all but impermeable, a series of openings are required to allow the import and export of molecules. These openings are known as nuclear pores. The nucleus is actually similar to a full cell, in that it is protected by an outer membrane, is filled with a viscous liquid (nucleoplasm) and supports several internal organelles (nucleolus, cajal bodies, PIKA domains, and other organelles which are related to RNA). The nucleus is analogous to a brain, in that it regulates and controls the rest of the cell. It could also be compared to the bridge of a powerful Star Destroyer, preferably Darth Vaders personal Super Star Destroyer, the Executor. The bridge, much like the nucleus, is responsible for issuing orders and commands throughout the cell.
Organelle 7: Nucleolus: The nucleolus is a sub-nucleic organelle, chiefly responsible for RNA transcription. This organelle is analogous to a photocopier, as its production of RNA and the copying action of the photocopier are very similar. This organelle could also be compared to mass-cloning facilities of Kamino, which produce soldiers and various other task-specific organisms based on an independent genetic blueprint.
Organelle 8: Golgi apparatus: The primary function of the Golgi apparatus is to process the molecules produced by other organelles, such as proteins and fats, and prepare them for exocytosis (secretion). In this respect, the Golgi apparatus can be compared to a post office, as it packages, labels, and sends off molecules, much like a post office packages, labels, and sends off letters, parcels, etc. The Golgi apparatus could also be compared to the infernal postman from the Legend of Zelda series. Much like the Golgi apparatus, he labels and delivers parcels to various people found throughout the lands of Hyrule and Terminus.
Organelle 8: Endoplasmic Reticulum: The Endoplasmic Reticulum is a network of sac-like structures that play a primary role in cellular transportation. It transports proteins and fats along a membrane to various other organelles. There are two kinds of Endoplasmic reticulum. The first, the Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum (RER) is studded at semi-regular intervals with ribosomes. The RER is charged with producing specific complex proteins. The second, the Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (SER), has no attached ribosomes. The SER functions mainly to produce lipids (fats and fat-soluble molecules). The Endoplasmic reticulum can be compared to a system of roads, as it functions mainly to transport items around the cell, along manufactured pathways. It could also be thought of as the slipstream, from Andromeda, as it provides pathways for transportation throughout the cell, much like the Slipstream provides pathways of transportation throughout the universe.
Organelle 9: Ribosome: Ribosomes are essentially complex granules of RNA and protein, found both independent and attached to an Endoplasmic Reticulum. Essentially, the ribosome translates genetic information into proteins. Because ribosomes produce the essential units for construction of organelles and the cell itself, they could be seen as both analogous to a lumber yard, which produces lumber, a necessary component in construction, and the replicators in Star Trek, which produce foods, equipment and materials for use throughout the ship, much like ribosomes.
The first image below shows ribosomes on the RER, not independently suspended
Organelle 10: Chromatin: While not truly organelles, chromatin are included here because I had lost my project outline, and could not remember if they had been mandatory to include, so I decided to err on the side of safety. Chromatin is composed of DNA and RNA, and composes chromosomes. They are found inside the nucleus of the cell. Chromatin contains all of the genetic information to form and direct cellular activities. Chromatin is analogous to blueprints, in that they both contain all information for construction. It is also analogous to the schematics of a starship, for the same reasons. In the first picture below, the chromatin are the red lines inside the nucleus.
The other organelles found in eukaryotic cells (lysosomes, centrioles) are not present in plant cells.