Biology Forum › Cell Biology › Cells
November 6, 2011 at 12:45 am #15642
Can someone please tell me why cells must be so small?
November 6, 2011 at 1:54 am #107666
Are you going to do or have you done the potato cube lab?
November 6, 2011 at 2:02 am #107670
yes, i have. but i didnt quite understand it.
November 6, 2011 at 2:19 am #107677
The concept of the lab is to serve as a model for membrane transport. The potato is made up of starch, which was cut into cubes, one small and one big. Measure the size of the big cube and the size of the small cube. Both cubes were then placed into the iodine solution (at least iodine for me). After a duration of time both cubes were removed and cut in half. You should visually see the effects of diffusion (the dark color) as a layer of iodine and starch is now present. Then a measurement of the white space is made on both cubes used to calculate the data.
Now having done this, which of the cubes had a higher percentage of iodine penetration?
November 6, 2011 at 2:21 am #107678
i believe it was the smaller cube..? and i used iodine as well. the small cube was the darkest, and the big cube didnt show much of an affect.
November 6, 2011 at 2:27 am #107680
Well then you have successfully answered your question. The smaller cube had a much higher iodine penetration compared to the big cube. Meaning the smaller cube had a greater…
November 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm #108084mieusesParticipant
this topic got my attention(although I’m not sure anybody’s gonna read this)
to understand why cells are small let’s imagine they’re not.instead,we have one huge cell(like -blue- in that cartoon,foster house or something)
what are the problems of this configuration?here are the most obvious:
1-nutrients will take ages to get to the central parts of our cell-demonstrated by the bigger potato cube.and so nutrition is dysfunctional,even with all transport mechanisms a cell has.
2-the same discussion above for waste products coming out and oxygen coming in.
3-immunity:a single bacterium or virus can destroy this cell once it’s inside(if only there were many small cells that one death is non important).
4-skeleton and movement:a single cell cannot have a good skeletal system along with a good locomotor system at the same time(related to cytoskeleton and contractile elements).
and so on….
the point is smaller cells = more cells at the same volume = more specialization of function = more efficient of a multi-cellular organism at survival = good for us 😉
for reference,the idea becomes clearer and clearer the more you dwell in histology and related physiology.
I apologize in advance for any misleads herein,I’m only an undergraduate student
and I hope this was useful to any readers.sorry about the really long comment but I was just in the mood to write
November 23, 2011 at 11:32 am #108327MaatomaatParticipant
It’s because of that:
1- If volum of cell be big, it’s surface area will be small and it’s not good for cells.
2- If volum of cell be big, distance that a molecule must cover will be long, so cellular reactions will be slow and it’s not good for cells.
3- If volum of cell be big, cell wouldn’t control itself.
November 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm #108377JackBeanParticipant
the surface grows with size of cell, so 1 is not true. 2 is true, 3 is consequence of 2.
November 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm #108380MaatomaatParticipantquote JackBean:the surface grows with size of cell, so 1 is not true. 2 is true, 3 is consequence of 2.
I meant if size grows surface area/volume will be less so interaction will not be processed well.
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