specialised cells

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What Are The Specialized Cells?

According to specialized cells definition, these cells perform special functions. They have specific tasks to perform and are therefore structured in a manner through which the task can be completed most efficiently. Here’s the list of specialised cells with the brief.

  1. Eg., the red blood cells perform the function of carrying oxygen in the blood to all the parts of the body. This is done by getting attached to a protein called, ‘haemoglobin’. Red blood cells have three characteristics-
  • The shape of the cells is concave to allow for more space and surface area so that the oxygen-carrying capacity of each cell is increased.
  • It does not have a nucleus to provide space for haemoglobin.
  • The outer membrane is thin so that the oxygen can move in fast.
  1. Muscle cells appear in bundles to contract when the muscle needs to be pulled.

Heart muscles have branches and never get tired. Bone muscles are flexible to allow the body to move.

  1. Nerve cells are long and thin to allow them to travel and send messages quickly. The nerve cells have branches at each end. This ensures that the nerves can communicate with other nerve cells.
  2. Sperm cells likewise are fast-moving, flexible, and highly mobile as they are meant to fertilize the ovum. The mitochondria present in the sperm cell give mobility and energy to the cells.
  3. Leukocytes are the cells that help the human body to fight infections. These cells help in locating the microbes (alien bodies) in the human body and fight them to avoid infections etc.
  4. Epithelial cells – These are specialised cells in the respiratory system which are responsible to maintain the moisture in the respiratory tract and protect it from possible injuries, pathogens, or infections. These cells are divided into three types: Cilia cells, Goblet cells, Basal cells.

Just like specialized cells in the human body, plants also have specialized cells.

  1. Root hair cells- These are the type of cells that allow the plants to absorb more water and minerals from the ground.
  2. Xylem cells- Xylem cells are much like the nerve cells in the human body. They allow the water to go up to the stem of the plant. The xylem cells have broken cells at the end of the cell cluster to allow the water to reach different parts of the plants including the stem and the leaves.
  3. Phloem cells – Phloem cells have the function of carrying food from one part of the plant to the other. The phloem cells have holes at the end to allow the food to move easily throughout the plant body.

How Do Stem Cells Become Specialized?

When an unspecialized group of cells gets structured in a way to perform the functions of the specialized group of cells, the process is called cell differentiation. The process of cell differentiation is strange as once a cell or group of cells start showing the characteristics of specialized cells, their structure cannot be reversed into the original cell structure. The new structure will have the characteristics of the protein and genes of the specialized cells only.

Despite the importance of a cell being able to perform specialized functions, some cells must retain the unspecialized character. You must be wondering why? Well, the simple logic that an unspecialized cell may become specialized but a specialized cell cannot go back to its original form. Secondly, a specialized group of the cell cannot make copies of themselves. Thus, for cell retention and production, the stock of unspecialized cells is required.

How Many Cells In The Human Body?

Cells are the basic unit of life but their functioning is a lot more complex than we generally know. A small bunch of cells is performing most of the work of the human body. The outer structure of the human body being a mere protective field. There are around about 3 trillion cells in the human body with each group of cells performing their respective functions. However, the life of the cells is short and many cells die and new cells are made from the blueprint of the previous ones.

 

How Are Muscle Cells Specialized?

The muscle cells are unique in their disposition. The muscle cells having the basic tasks of handling the movement of the body have the capability of contracting when enough energy is available. The cells are known as ‘myocyte. The elements that help in the contraction of the muscle cell are called ‘actin’ and ‘myosin’. These elements are collectively called ‘sarcomeres’.  The muscle cells have many nuclei that result push the cell membrane resulting in contraction of the muscle.

Why Do Multicellular Organisms Need Specialized Cells?

Multicellular organisms have varied needs and they need different groups of specialized cells to perform all those functions. Simple diffusion is not enough to perform all the functions peculiar to the multicellular organisms. Due to the multifunctionality of the multicellular organisms, the organisms need to divide the labour, thus the need for specialized groups of cells.

So, did you find that interesting? I hope so. Biology is an interesting subject, even though it may be complicated to remember all the scientific and technical words. So instead of jumping onto memorizing the difficult words straight away, try to understand the concepts. Once your concepts are clear everything else will fall into place.

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Nick

Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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