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1. Outline cell theory. • organelles: up to 10 µm

• all living things are made of one or more cells • eukaryotic cells: up to 100 µm
• the cell is the smallest unit of life
• all cells come from pre-existing cells
2. Discuss the evidence for the cell theory.
• a theory is a general system of ideas used to explain
or interpret observations
• theories provide predictive power by generating
• a hypothesis is a specific prediction than can be
tested through observation or experiment
• each aspect of cell theory is based on evidence
obtained from observations and experiments
all living things are made of one or more cells
• microscopes allow us to observe that all living things
are either unicellular or multicellular
• exceptions:
1. skeletal muscle, some fungal hyphae, and some algae
have multinucleate cytoplasm, lacking normal cell
2. connective tissue, such as bone, blood and cartilage,
is composed of both cellular and extracellular
structures, especially extracellular proteins and fluids;
however, these extracellular structures are products
of cellular activities
the cell is the smallest unit of life:
• nothing smaller than a cell can survive independently
• subcellular structures cannot survive independently
(nuclei, ER, golgi, chloroplasts, mitochondria)
• the lower limit on cell size is about 200nm, large
enough for DNA, ribosomes, and membranes
all cells come from pre-existing cells:
• this seems to imply that life has always existed, which
is incompatible with geological evidence about the
age of Earth
• therefore, an exception is made for the origin of life,
when cells must have arisen from non-living
substances 5. Calculate linear magnification of drawings and the
actual size of specimens in images of known
• since the conditions of early Earth were anaerobic,
they allowed for cells to form from non-living
magnification = size of image / actual size of specimen
drawings of microscopic structures must include at least one
• the conditions of present Earth are aerobic, of:
precluding the formation of cells from non-living
• scale bars: |-----------| = 1 µm
3. State that unicellular organisms carry out all the • magnification: x 250
functions of life 6. Explain the importance of the surface area to volume
ratio as a factor limiting cell size
• metabolism: chemical reactions inside the cell,
surface area
including cell respiration to release energy
• sensitivity: perceiving and responding to changes in
• (SA) = f(x2)
the environment • rate of exchange = f(SA)
• homeostasis: keeping conditions inside the organisms
within tolerable limits • (V) = f(x3)
• growth: an irreversible increase in size • metabolism = f(V)
• reproduction: producing offspring either sexually or • metabolism includes heat production/waste
asexually production/resource consumption of a cell
• nutrition: obtaining food, to provide energy and the
materials needed for growth • as the dimensions of a cell increase, V increases
4. Compare the relative sizes of molecules, cell proportionally faster than SA
membrane thickness, viruses, bacteria, organelles and • thus, SA/V ratio decreases with cell size
cells, using appropriate SI units
• setting an upper limit on cell size
• molecules: ~ 1 nm
• because lower relative SA reduces rate of exchange
• cell membrane thickness: ~ 10 nm
• while higher relative V increases metabolic demands
• viruses: ~ 100 nm
• thus, rate of exchange can’t meet needs of metabolic
• bacteria: ~ 1 µm demands
7. State that multicellular organisms show emergent
• emergent properties arise from the interaction of
component parts
• the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
• life itself can be viewed as an emergent property
8. Explain that cells in multicellular organisms
differentiate to carry out specialized functions by
expressing some of their genes but not others.
unicellular organisms
• must solve all of life’s challenges within the confines
of a single cell
multicellular organisms
• can differentiate into a variety of interdependent cell
types 9. State that stem cells retain the capacity to divide
and have the ability to differentiate along different
• each specialized to carry out a subset of functions pathways.
• thereby achieving a greater efficiency 10. Outline one therapeutic use of stem cell.
• through division of labor among a multicellular • bone marrow transplants use hematopoietic stem
cooperative cells (HS cells)
cellular differentiation • HS cells are found in bone marrow and divide
• achieved through differential gene expression continually, producing a variety of red and white
• all cells in an organism have identical DNA = genome blood cells
• different cell types make different proteins • just 100 HS cells can completely replace the blood
system of mice when all cells in the marrow have
• usually as a result of transcriptional regulation been destroyed by radiation
• each cell type expresses a closely regulated subset of • HS cells are used in the treatment of numerous blood
its genome disorders
• “turning on” some genes and “turning off” others 1. acute leukemia
2. SCID (severe combined immune deficiency)
3. multiple myeloma
4. lymphoma
• in lymphoma:
1. cells are removed from the bone marrow of the
2. high doses of chemotherapy drugs are taken by the
patient to kill dividing cells in the body
3. both cancerous and normal are killed
4. HS cells from the bone marrow are then transplanted
back into the patient
5. these HS cells can then fully restore healthy
production of blood cells in the bone marrow
• ethical issues: use of embryonic stem cells involves
the death of early-stage embryos
• ethical issues: therapeutic cloning could reduce
suffering for patients with a wide variety of conditions

1. Draw and label a diagram of the ultrastructure of

Escherichia coli (E. coli) as an example of a prokaryote.
• DNA is circular and naked (not associated with
• total amount of DNA is much smaller than in
• the nucleoid is stained less densely than the rest of
the cytoplasm because there are fewer ribosomes in
it and less protein
3. Identify structures from 2.2.1 in electron
micrographs of E. coli.

2. Annotate the diagram from 2.2.1 with the function of

each named structure:
cell wall:
• always present
• composed of peptidoglycan
4. State that prokaryotic cells divide by binary fission.
• provides physical protection
• maintains cell shape 1. Draw and label a diagram of the ultrastructure of a

prevents bursting in hypotonic environment liver cell as an example of an animal cell.
plasma membrane:
2. Annotate the diagram from 2.3.1 with the functions
• thin layer mainly composed of phospholipids pushed
of each named structure.
up against the inside of the cell wall Free ribosomes:
• provides selectively permeable barrier between • sites of protein synthesis for use within the cytoplasm
homeostatically controlled interior and fluctuating
exterior environments • ribosomes are constructed in the nuclear region
called the nucleolus
• controls entry and exit of substances
Rough endoplasmic reticulum:
• can also pump substances in or out by active • flattened membrane sacs (cisternae)
• ribosomes attached to outside of cisternae
• can produce ATP by cell respiration
pili: • proteins synthesized by ribosomes enter cisternae
• protein filaments protruding from the cell wall • proteins collected within cisternae are packaged in
• can be pulled in or push out by a ratchet mechanism
• vesicles transport proteins to Golgi apparatus
• used for cell to cell adhesion
• used when bacteria stick together to form • spherical vesicles formed by Golgi apparatus
aggregations of cells
• contain hydrolytic/digestive enzymes
• used when two cells are exchanging DNA during
conjugation • enzymes for breaking down ingested food, damaged
flagella: organelles, or entire cells
Golgi apparatus:
• structures protruding from the cell wall with a
corkscrew shape • consists of flattened membrane sacs called cisternae
• base is embedded in the cell wall • unlike ER, cisternae are curved, shorter, and lack
• using energy, they can be rotated, to propel the cell
from on area to another • proteins received from arriving vesicles are processed

unlike eukaryotic flagella, they are solid and • carbohydrates added to proteins to form
inflexible, working like a propeller glycoproteins
cytoplasm: • vesicles of glycoproteins exit Golgi for exocytosis or
• fluid filling the space inside the plasma membrane intracellular use
• water with many dissolved substances
• double membrane bound
• contains many enzymes
• inner membrane invaginated to form cristae
• contains ribosomes
• site of aerobic respiration, producing ATP
• does not contain any membrane-bound organelles

carries out the chemical reactions of metabolism • double membrane bound, containing pores for
ribosomes: transport of proteins and ribosomes
• small granular structures (70S) • contains chromosomes, made of DNA + protein
• smaller than eukaryotic ribosomes which are 80S • uncoiled chromosomes = chromatin
•sites of protein synthesis • site of DNA replication and transcription into RNA
• region cytoplasm containing the genetic material
(usually one molecule of DNA)
3. Identify structures from 2.3.1 in electron cirographs
of liver cells.

5. State three differences between plant and animal

Plant cells
• cellulose cell walls
• chloroplasts
• large central vacuole
Animal cells
• no cell walls
• no chloroplasts
• lacking or small vacuoles

4. Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

• naked DNA
• DNA in cytoplasm (no nuclear membrane)
• No membrane-bound organelles (no mitochondria, ER,
• ribosome size = 70S
• Only bacteria 6. Outline two roles of extracellular components.
• Size: 1 - 10 µm Plant cell wall
• Evolved at least 3.5 billion years ago • composition: cellulose microfibrils
Eukaryotic • functions:
• DNA associated with proteins 1. provides physical protection
2. prevents excessive water uptake precluding bursting
• True nucleus (enclosed by nuclear membrane)
in hypotonic environment
• Many membrane-bound organelles (mitochondria, ER, 3. produces turgor pressure which holds whole plant up
golgi) to compartmentalize functions against the force of gravity
• ribosome size = 80S Animal extracellular matrix
• All cells other than bacteria • animal cells secrete glycoproteins that form the
extracellular matrix
• Size: 2 - 1000 µm
• Evolved 1.5 - 2 billion years ago
• functions: support, adhesion, movement
. Draw and label a diagram to show the structure of
• Phospholipid bilayer
• Cholesterol
• Glycoproteins
• Integral proteins embedded in th phospholipid of the
• Peripheral proteins attached to the phospholipid
6. Explain the role of protein pumps and ATP in active
transport across membranes.
Against the concentration gradient: Moves substance from an
area where it is in lower concentration to an area where it is in
higher concentration.
Protein pumps:
• Integral protein pumps embedded within membranes.
• Specific to molecule transported.
Requires energy:
• Usually provided by ATP.
• Often by phosphorylating the protein pump as ATP is
2. Explain how the hydrophobic and hydrophilic hydrolyzed.
properties of phospholipids help to maintain the
structure of cell membranes.
• Hydrophobic fatty acid tails repel water and form the
middle layer of the membrane.
• Hydrophilic phosphate heads attract water and form
the outer layers of the membrane.

7. Explain how vesicles are used to transport materials

within a cell between the rough endoplasmic reticulum,
Golgi apparatus, and plasma membrane.
3. List the functions of membrane proteins including:
• Protein synthesis: rER produces proteins which travel
• Hormone binding sites through the lumen of the ER
• Immobilized enzymes • Transport in vesicles: Membranes produced by the
• Cell adhesion rER flows in the form of transport vesicles to the
• Cel-to-cell communication Golgi, carrying proteins within the vesicles
• Channels for passive transport • Modification: Golgi apparatus modifies proteins
produced in rER
• Pumps for active transport.
4. Define: • Transport to membrane: Golgi pinches off vesicles
that contain modified proteins and travel to plasma
• Diffusion = the passive movement of particles from a membrane
region of higher concentration to a region of lower
concentration. • Exocytosis: Vesicles then fuse with plasma
membrane, releasing their contents by
• Osmosis = the passive movement of water molecules,
across a partially permeable membrane, from a
region of lower solute concentration to a region of
higher solute concentration.
5. Explain passive transport across membranes in terms
of simple diffusion and facilitated diffusion.
Concentration gradient: Molecules can diffuse across
membranes from areas of higher to lower concentration by:
• Simple diffusion: traveling directly through the
membrane if they are small and uncharged, thus
avoiding repulsion by the hydrophobic, non-polar tails
of phospholipids in the middle of the membrane.
• Facilitated diffusion: traveling through special
transport proteins, if they match the shape and 8. Describe how the fluidity of the membrane allows it
charge requirements to fit through the channels to change shape, break and reform during endocytosis
provided by the transport proteins. and exocytosis.
• Lipids move laterally in a membrane, but flip-flopping
across the membrane is rare.
• Unsaturated hydrocarbon tail of phospholipids have
kinks that keep the molecules from packing together,
enhancing membrane fluidity.
• Cholesterol reduces membrane fluidity by reducing
phospholipid movement at moderate temperatures
but it also hinders solidification at low temperatures.
2.5 Cell Division
1. Outline the stages in the cell cycle, including
interphase (G1, S, G2), mitosis and cytokinesis.
• G1: growth, protein synthesis, increase in the number
of mitochondria and/or chloroplasts
• S: DNA replication
• G2: growth, protein synthesis, preparation for
mitosis = nuclear division
• prophase
• metaphase
• anaphase
• telophase
cytokinesis = cellular division

5. Explain how mitosis produces two genetically

identical nuclei.
• DNA replication during S phase of interphase
produces two identical copies of DNA
• Identical sets of DNA are attached to each other as
sister chromatids of each of the cell’s chromosomes
• Mitosis segregates the two chromatids of each
chromosome to opposite poles, forming two identical
nuclei, each with one complete copy of the original
• Cytokinesis separates the two daughter nuclei into
two identical daughter cells
2. State that tumors (cancers) are the result of 6. State that growth, embryonic development, tissue
uncontrolled cell division and that these can occur in repair and asexual reproduction involve mitosis.
any organ or tissue.
3. State that interphase is an active period in the life of Previous IB Exam Essay Questions: Unit 1
a cell when many metabolic reactions occur, including 1. Discuss possible exceptions to cell theory. 4 marks
protein synthesis, DNA replication and an increase in • skeletal muscle fibers are larger/have many nuclei/are
the number of mitochondria and/or chloroplasts. not typical cells
4. Describe the events that occur in the four phases of
• fungal hyphae are (sometimes) not divided up into
individual cells
• Chromosomes condense by supercoiling, becoming
• unicellular organisms can be considered acellular
visible • because they are larger than a typical cell/carry out
all functions of life
• Centrioles move to opposite poles
• Nucleolus disappears
• some tissues/organs contain large amounts of
extracellular material
• Nuclear membrane disappears
• e.g. vitreous humor of eye/ mineral deposits in bone/
• Microtubular spindle apparatus forms at each pole xylem in trees/other example
• statement of cell theory/all living things/most tissues
• Spindle microtubules attach to chromosome are composed entirely of true cells
centromeres 2. Explain how the surface are to volume ratio
• Chromosomes move to the equator influences cell sizes. 3 marks
Anaphase: • small cells have larger ratio (than larger cells)/ratio
• Centromeres split as spindle microtubules pull decreases as size increases
chromatids to opposite poles (after centromeres split, • surface area/membrane must be large enough to
sister chromatids are known as sister chromosomes) absorb nutrients/oxygen/substances needed
• Sister chromosomes move to opposite poles as • surface area/membrane must be large enough to
microtubules shorten excrete/pass out waste products
• need for materials is determined by (cell) volume
• Sister chromosomes have arrived at poles
• cell size is limited (by SA/Volume ratio)/cells divide
• Spindle disappears when they reach a certain size
• Centrioles replicate • reference to diffusion across/through
• Nuclear membrane becomes visible membrane/surface area
• Nucleolus becomes visible 3. Outline differentiation of cells in a multicellular
organism. 4 marks
• Chromosomes decondense, becoming chromatin
• differentiation is development in different/specific
• cells carry out specialized functions/become
• example of a differentiated cell in a multicelluar
• cells have all genes/could develop in any way 8. Distinguish between the structure of plant and
animal cells. 6 marks
• some genes are switched on/expressed but not others Award 1 mark per difference plant cells
• position/hormones/cell-to-cell signals/chemicals • have cell walls, animals do not
determine how a cell develops
• have plastids/ chloroplasts, animals do not
• a group of differentiated cells is a tissue
4. Draw a diagram of a prokaryotic cell 6 marks • have a large central vacuole, animals do not
• cell wall shown clearly and labelled • store starch, animal cells store glycogen
• cell surface membrane shown thinner than and • have plasmodesmata, animal cells do not
adjacent to cell wall and labelled animal cells
• cytoplasm shown with no nucleus present and • have centrioles, plant cells do not
labelled • have cholesterol in the cell membrane, plant cells do
• ribosomes shown free in the cytoplasm and labelled not
• loop of DNA shown in the cytoplasm/nucleoid and • plant cells are generally have a fixed shape/ more
labelled as DNA regular whereas animal cells are more rounded
9. Using a table, compare the structures of prokaryotic
• plasmid shown as a small loop and labelled and eukaryotic cells. 5 marks prokaryotic cells eukaryotic
• slime capsule shown as a layer outside the cell wall cells
and labelled • DNA naked/loop of DNA associated with
• mesosome shown as a membrane invagination and protein/histones/nucleosomes/DNA in chromosomes
labelled • location of DNA in cytoplasm/nuceloid/no nucleus
• flagellum shown and labelled (reject if shown with within a nucleus/nuclear membrane
microtubules) • membrane bound organelles none present
5. Draw a diagram to show the organelles which are
found in the cytoplasm of plant cells. 6 marks • ribosomes 70S 80S
Award 1 mark for each of the following structures accurately • plasma membrane same structure within both groups
drawn and labelled • cell wall peptidoglycan/not cellulose/not chitin
• rough endoplasmic reticulum cellusose/chitin/not peptidoglycan
• (free ribosomes) • respiratory structures mesosomes/no mitochondria
• Golgi apparatus mitochondria
10. Draw a diagram to show the structure of a cell
• mitochondrion membrane 5 marks
• chloroplast • phospholipids labelled with hydrophillic (heads) and
• vacuole hydrophobic (tails)
• nucleus • phospholipid bilayer clearly shown and labelled
• lysosome • proteins shown in the bilayer and labelled
• smooth endoplasmic reticulum • transmembrane and peripheral/extrinsic proteins
6. State one function of each of the following shown and labelled
organelles: lysosome, Golgi apparatus, rough • glycoproteins shown and labelled
endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, mitochondrion. 5 marks
• cholesterol shown and labelled
• lysosome: hydrolysis/digestion/break down of
materials (macromolecules) • glycolipids shown and labelled
• Golgi apparatus: • thickness shown as 10 nm/ + or - 2 nm
synthesis/sorting/transporting/secretion of cell 11. Explain how the structure and properties of
products phospholipids help to maintain the structure of cell
membranes. 9 marks
• rough endoplasmic reticulum: site of synthesis of phospholipid structure
proteins (to be secreted)/ intracellular transport of
polypeptides to Golgi apparatus • hydrophobic tail/hydrophilic head
• nucleus: controls cells activities/mitosis/replication of • head made from glycerol and phosphate
DNA/transcription of DNA (to RNA)/directs protein • tail made from two fatty acids
synthesis • saturated/ unsaturated fatty acid (in tail)
• mitochondrion: (aerobic) respiration/generates ATP arrangement in membrane
7. Draw a diagram of the ultra-structure of an animal • phospholipids form a bilayer
cell as seen in an electron micrograph. 6 marks
Award 1 mrak for each of the following structure clearly drawn • heads face outside the membrane/ tails face inside
and labelled correctly. Award marks for labelled eukaryotic the membrane/ hydrophic interior/ hydrophilic
structures, then deduct 1 mark per labelled prokaryotic exterior of membrane
structure shown, e.g. mesosome, cell wall. A suitable annotated diagram may incorporate all or many of
the above points. Award 5 marks maximum for a suitable
• nuclear membrane/nucleus (with nuclear membrane diagram that is labelled correctly.
shown double with pores)
• phospholipids held together by hydrophobic
• ribosomes (free or attached to ER) interactions
• endoplasmic reticulum/ ER • phospholipid layers are stabilized by interaction of
• plasma/cell membrane (reject if shown as a double hydrophilic heads and surrounding water
line) • phospholipids allow for membrane fluidity/ flexibility
• mitochondria (shown with inner and outer membrane) • fluidity/ flexibility helps membranes to be
• Golgi (apparatus) (functionally) stable
• lysosomes
• phospholipids with short fatty acids/ unsaturated fatty • cells cannot grow beyond a certain size
acids are more fluid • surface area to volume ratio becomes too small
• fluidity is important in breaking and remaking • transport across the membrane too slow
membranes (e.g. endocytosis/ exocytosis)
• example
• phospholipids can move about/ move horizontally/
"flip flop" to increase fluidity • nucleus cannot control the cell
• hydrophilic/ hydrophobic layers restrict entry/ exit of • control of cell division sometimes lost
substances • tumor formation
12. Explain the role of vesicles in transportation of 16. Outline the processes that occur in a cell during
materials within cells. 8 marks interphase, including those needed to prepare for
• vesicles are membrane bound packages/droplets mitosis. 4 marks
• formed by pinching off/budding off a piece from a • DNA replication
membrane • DNA transcription
• can carry proteins • enzyme/ protein synthesis
• rough ER synthesizes proteins • biochemical reactions/ example of a biochemical
• proteins enter/accumulate inside the ER reaction
• transported to Golgi apparatus for processing • cell respiration
• targeted to/transported to specific cellular organelles • growth
• fuse with membrane of organelle so contents of • organelles replicated
vesicle join the organelle
• transported to the plasma membrane
• fuses with plsma membrane releases/secretes
• exocytosis
13. Describe the process of active transport. 4 marks
• uses/ requires energy/ ATP
• goes against concentration gradient/ lower to higher
• requires a protein in the cell membrane/ pump/
carrier protein (reject channel)
• hydrolysis of ATP/ ATP --> ADP + phosphate
• involves a conformational change in the pump/
protein/ diagram to show this
14. Outline the ways in which substances move
passively across membranes. 5 marks
• diffusion (is a method of passive transport across the
• pore/ channel proteins for facilitated diffusion/ to
allow hydrophilic particles across
• movement from high to low concentration/ down the
concentration gradient
• membrane must be permeable to the substance
• oxygen/ other named example of a substance than
can diffuse through membranes
• osmosis is movement of/ diffusion of water through a
• from a region of lower to a region of higher solut
concentration/ higher to lower water potential
• membranes are (nearly) always freely permeable to
15. Explain the reasons for cell division in living
organims. 8 marks
• to increase the number of cells in an organism
• to allow differentiation/ cell specialization
• for greater efficiency
• to replace damaged/ lost cells
• example
• binary fission
• asexual reproduction of unicellular organisms
• gamete/ spore formation
• cells only arise from pre-existing cells
• refer to Virchow