Professor Catherine Raven
South University Online
Why We Study the Cell and Its Components When I first thought about the title for this assignment, I thought to myself “we study cells because that’s a scientist’s job”. After I started doing the research to find out why scientists study cells, it became so much clearer to me. We study the cell and its components because when we learn more about cells we can attempt to use the knowledge to combat disease, find better ways to grow food, and understand complex processes like aging. Cells are the structural and functional part of all organisms. Cells can be unicellular like bacteria, or multicellular like we humans are. Each cell is a world all on its own. It can get nutrients, convert them to energy, carry out specific functions and reproduce.
A few of the things we have learned about cells over the years are that there are two kinds of cells, Prokaryote and Eukaryote cells. Prokaryotic cells have been around for two billion years and it is believed that Eukaryotic cells came from Prokaryotic cells. The differences in the two types of cells are that the Prokaryote cells are smaller and much simpler than the Eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotes have organelles (A membrane-enclosed structure with a specialized function within a eukaryotic cell (Reece G-17), whereas most Prokaryotes do not. Prokaryote means “before the nucleus” and it doesn’t have an internal cell membrane structure like a Eukaryote does, the Eukaryote has a membrane enclosed nucleus.
By understanding what makes up a cell, and what kinds there are, we can study what sustains them and what kills them and apply it to education and developing treatment for many diseases, such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. We can use this knowledge to find ways to use bacteria for developing medication to treat medical issues and also for cosmetic procedures like Botox. We can apply our knowledge to combat viruses that have taken huge tolls on our populations all over the world like the outbreaks of E-Coli, HIV, Hanta Virus, Avian flu, SARS. Knowing what makes the viruses tick enables us to better find ways to control and suppress them.
We are on the brink of finding cures for Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Scientists have found that using embryonic stem cells in rats improved the symptoms of Parkinson’s. They are in the process of trying a new technique to re-engineer stem cells from skin cells to combat the neurological disease, if they prove successful; we may be able to start testing on human patients, this may also ease the resistance against using embryonic stem cells in the process. There is research being done to try