Oxygen and Cells

Cells are the basic unit of life. All living organisms, be it plant or animal, consist of cells that are of different structures and function. Both entities have basically the same cellular components but some differences are present which makes function of animal cells different from plant cells. Both have cell membranes that encompass each cell allowing them to control which enzyme can penetrate the wall. A central nucleus that contains chromosomes is embedded on a liquid- form cytoplasm. Cytoplasm houses the different cell organelles which play specific function in cellular activities. In contrast however, plant cells have chlorophyll that is utilized during photosynthesis. Cellular activities are fuelled by energy stores derived from photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is the process wherein energy derived from the sun is converted into chemical energy, the product being used in the form of sugar compounds. In the absence of oxygen source, organisms benefit from anaerobic glycolysis for it to sustain life. In anaerobic glycolysis, glucose that is the product of photosynthesis, is broken down to lactate to form the much needed ATP that is vital in fuelling cellular. All this minute chemical processes is made possible by enzymes acting as catalyst to speed up reaction without having to compromise the products by such chemical reactions. Enzyme catalysts do not directly supply the ATP. They speed up ATP production by lowering the rate of activation energy, hence accelerating chemical reactions.

Enzyme- substrate interactions follow three steps. The first being ENZYME + SUBSTRATE. Enzymes are highly specific. They have open binding sites, which allows substrates to attach to them. This results in the formation of the ENZYME- SUBSTRATE COMPLEX. The chemical reaction results in the formation of an ENZYME + PRODUCT. The product then diffuses readily to make the enzyme available for further binding.

The cycle of life starts at the cellular level. It is quite amazing to think that a microscopic entity could work to form an intricate mechanism that is what is called life.



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