Specialised Cells

Topic summary of B2 1.2

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Introduction

As an organsim develops, some of their cells become specialised to carry out a specific function. This is called differentation. The cell's structure is specially adapted to perform its perticular function.

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Leaf Cell

cross section through a leaf cell (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/aqaaddsci_07.gif)

Function: Absorbs light energy for photosynthesis

Adaptation: Packed with chloroplasts. Regular shaped, closely packed cells form a continuous layer for efficient absorption of sunlight

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Root Hair Cell

root hair cell - has a head and tail (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/aqaaddsci_08.gif)

Function: Absorbs water and mineral ions from the soil

Adaptation: Long 'finger-like' process with very thin wall, which gives a large surface area.

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Sperm Cell

sperm cell - has a head and tail (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/aqaaddsci_09.gif)

Function: Fertilises an egg cell

Adaptation: The head contains genetic information and an enzyme to help penetrate the egg cell membrane. The middle section is packed with mitochondria for energy. The tail moves the sperm to the egg.

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Red Blood Cell

red blood cells (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/images/aqaaddsci_10.gif)

Function: Contain haemoglobin to carry oxygen to the cells.

Adaptation: Thin outer membrane to let oxygen diffuse through easily. Shape increases the surface area to allow more oxygen to be absorbed efficiently. No nucleus, so the whole cell is full of haemoglobin.

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