Weston Middle School

Life Science Course Materials

Weston, Massachusetts
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Cell Biology -Unit Introduction

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As the weather grows colder after Thanksgiving, and the stage has been set through the study of the environment, our story moves indoors, to the study of the common structures and physiology of all eukaryotic cells- cell theory, organelles, DNA, and heredity.

The eukaryotic cell, which with its complex structures and exquisite biochemical machinery may have taken billions of years to evolve. It is believed by many scientists, such as Lynn Margulis, that they evolved from simpler organisms which teamed together in a symbiotic relationship; some organelles retain their own distinct DNA and ways of extracting energy. Once the cell was perfected, the evolution of the myriad of multicellular organisms was just a manner of time .

Understanding how a single cell grows, communicates, uses energy, moves, and reproduces gives a better understanding of how multicellular organisms create specialized organs and tissues to carry out these functions.

Introductory Video:

Cellular Visions: The Inner Life of a Cell


Miller and Levine- Podcasts on Cell Biology

Endosymbiotic Evolution

Cellular Evolution:

The Evolution of the Cell

New Theory of Cell Evolution Rejects Single-Ancestor Doctrine

Audio Narration - The Evolution of Organelles

Revised May 2008 by Jonathan Dietz, dietzj@mail.weston.org