• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the structures of a cell to those of a city. Although vast differences in size, organization and infrastructures seem alike, the cell and the city may share a lot in common.

Extracts from this document...


Cell City Cells are the basic units of life unique and sophisticated due to their different structures working together to achieve many functions. (1) All organisms comprise of tiny microscopic units. Some primitive organisms consist simply of one cell (unicellular). (3) Humans begin life as a single cell but grow into a vast complex structure of many different types (differentiated cells), (2) each performing specialised tasks, grouping into tissues then organs, organ systems and finally a complete organism. (3) A very different environment to this organic structure is a city, but closer analysis shows a similar trend in development. Cities begin small but are then grouped into provinces, countries, continents then earth. (4) Although vast differences in size, organization and infrastructures seem alike, the cell and the city may share a lot in common. One of the most important parts of an animal cell is its nucleus, working as a control centre for cellular operations. It contains the genetic information, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which is the blueprint for the cell. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) nucleotides use it to translate information into instructions for making new proteins. (5) This process of translation happens in the cytosol. DNA and RNA are large organic macromolecules located in the nucleoplasm and contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus. (3) The DNA strands give rise to complex structures known as chromosomes which are bound to proteins called histones forming a structure called chromatin. ...read more.


(10) Comparatively, the functions of ribosomes and RER to the structures within a city would be an industrial park with many factories working simultaneously to create and modify constituents, also a repository for particular materials. Transportation comes in the form of a fleet of cargo lorries or a railway service. (9) Another organelle similar to RER is smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) extended from the RER, also involved in synthesis and transport, however, it is the site of lipid and steroid production as it contains unique enzymes. (5) Smooth ER has a very significant relationship with other organelles because of its manufacture of phospholipids and cholesterol as they are needed for their growth and repair. (3) Significantly in a city this could be an important factory processing vital materials; for example, a pharmaceutical company with its manufacturing plant. (9) Within the ER, after synthesising proteins, the molecules are surrounded and packaged into little membrane sacs which then steals itself away from the organelle forming transport vesicles. (5) These vesicles arrive at a new organelle, the Golgi apparatus where the membranes fuse with each other. The Golgi is membrane bound and consists of many cisternae which are small long flattened sacs that bulge at the edges. Its functions are modifying and packaging of waste related products, substances required for exocytosis, phospholipids and enzymes needed in the cytosol. (10) Vesicles arrive at the entry face cisternae and materials enter its lumen where they are modified by enzymes as they move through the medial layers. ...read more.


Called transmembrane proteins they have many roles; they provide active transport, giving passage to selected cations, also they provide facilitated diffusion of particles or simply give structural support for the membrane. Another important feature of the cell membrane is cell recognition. (5) This is achieved by oligosaccharides located on glycoprotein or glycolipids which act as chemical markers that recognise particular substrates, for example hormones such as insulin and glucagon which regulate blood sugar. (10) This regulation of traffic and protection of a city would be a city wall, (6) but in today's modern society city walls are of historical value rather than protection. Passport control or customs and excise regulate entry. A slightly different example of a city boundary falls into the area of municipality for which the city hall has control, defined by a ring road or limits of electoral registers. (4) In this comparison it is evident that all the structures within a cell and a city have enormous similarities proving that all infrastructures are greatly dependant on the functions of others combining together to carry out a common goal or function. They each contain a border and limit of control where materials can be imported or exported. They are directed by a control centre to produce energy, manufacture, store and transport materials and dispose of waste. Although sitting at opposite ends of the universal scale these systems are remarkably similar in functionality and the processes they must carry out in order to exist. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The writer manages to coherently compare the structure, functions and fundamental metabolism of the cell to that of a city, drawing relevant analogies between a city and the cell. The writer manages to focus on the most important parts of ...

Read full review

Response to the question

The writer manages to coherently compare the structure, functions and fundamental metabolism of the cell to that of a city, drawing relevant analogies between a city and the cell. The writer manages to focus on the most important parts of the cell such as the mitochondria, the nucleus, the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus and the cell membrane. Not only does the writer cover the biology behind these cell components, but also creatively compare these cell components to common features of a city. While these comparisons might seem obvious, the style of the writer in conveying this is humorous and also innovative as well.

Level of analysis

Definitely, the writer does a neat job in explaining the various components of the cell, the structures of these components and their functions to present a clear idea of cell metabolism. Further, the writer justifies the title of this report by drawing appropriate comparisons to amenities and services in a city. The depth and accuracy of the biology is reflected in the references the writer cites throughout the report, justifying the effort and immaculate research put in. Each cell component is accompanied by an image that illustrates the content covered regarding that particular component. The writer also does not drag off or be distracted into describing a city which will of course be too obvious but just mentions the analogy and instead maintains a clear focus on the biology. The writer makes smooth transitions in writing about each component and in executing this transition in a logical manner, the writer establishes the interdependence between the various organelles. Overall, the writer does not delve too much into the finer details but presents the relevant information in a clear and coherent manner.

Quality of writing

The language of the writer does not show any major flaws. Very few grammar errors are present and even these are not too glaring errors. The writer maintains a formal register required for this report, avoiding any colloquialisms though some clichéd statements could have been avoided. An important highlight of this report would be the content-wise organization of the report as the writer divides the report into different sections, each of which focus on a certain component of the cell. Even between these distinct sections, the writer weaves in links to ties up the report together. Overall, the writer has presented a very informative report on fundamental cell biology.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by Arcturus 17/03/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating respiration of maggots

    5 star(s)

    A fluctuation in temperature would mean the enzymes and substrates have varying levels of kinetic energy, which would make the experiment inaccurate. - Accurate Measuring Scales In my experiment I am using measuring scales that measure to 100th of a gram.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss how the structure of cell organelles is related to their functions.

    3 star(s)

    Sometimes, these enzymes add phosphate groups or even amine groups to a protein. This will help the shipping scheme to a particular destination. Even tough vesicles are tiny structures; they play a significant role in the activity of the whole cell.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An investigation to examine the effects of temperature on membrane stability in beetroot, by ...

    3 star(s)

    the amount of pigment that leaks out can be used to measure the permeability of the membrane. In order to find out, which situations would be best for this experiment, I carried out some preliminary work before starting the actual investigation: I needed to decide on: * Which liquid would

  2. An experiment to find of the isotonic point of root vegetables cells in contents ...

    Repeat this process until you have measured the end mass, length and width of each root vegetable cylinder and have filled in all your results tables. Equations required calculating the percentage increase/ decrease in the mass, length and width of each root vegetable.

  1. An Experiment to investigate the factors that affect the Power Output of a solar ...

    I think that the yellow filter will have a power output moderately between the power output with the red filter and the green filter, as it is a relatively light colour compared to the other two colours, and most of the light coming from the light bulb will not be

  2. A Level Biology revision notes

    is linked to obesity * RESTRICT salt and fats o Heart disease is caused by a diet * High in fat - increases cholesterol * High in saturated fats * High in salt - increases BP in hypertension (not in people with normal blood pressure)

  1. A2 coursework- The effects of bile salts on digestion of fat

    Fatty acids are organic molecules which all have a -COOH group attached to a hydrocarbon tail. Triglycerides are insoluble in water (they will not mix) because unlike water which is polar, the fatty acid tails have no uneven distribution of electrical charge and so the triglycerides can be said to be non-polar and so hydrophobic.

  2. Applied Science

    A control system has three components: detector, centre and effector. The control centre determines the limits within which the variable factor should be maintained. It receives an input from the detector or sensor, and integrates the incoming information. When the incoming signal indicates that an adjustment is needed the control centre responds and its output to the effector is changed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work