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Specialized Cells Types and Functions

User Oliver Smith time29 April,2019

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification pursued by pupils of secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students pursuing GCSE are often asked to write a biology assignment on specialised cells. We understand that writing well-researched assignments on specialised cells can be quite daunting.

Specialised Cells

This blog will provide you with an ultimate guide on the specialised cells. If you are asking “what are specialised cells?” or asking “How to write a detailed assignment on specialised cells?” read this post to  discover the definitions and  some intriguing examples of specialised cells.

What’s the best part?

Unlike your complex recommended readings and the complicated lessons of the GCSE curriculum, this blog explains the topic of specialised cells with relative ease. Bookmark this post before you start to write your assignment on specialised cells.

What is a specialised cell?

Many GCSE students often question, “What is a specialised cell?” Well, let’s try to figure it out.

The human body is an amazing feat of engineering. It includes nerve fibres, blood vessels, digestive system and a strong skeletal framework. Even more incredible is the fact that all of this is formed from only one type of component, which is the cell.

The cell is a basic unit of life. Among them, some cells are unique. They are known as specialised cells. In fact, the human body is made up of more than 200 types of specialised cells.

                                         Image 1: What is a Specialised Cell?

Specialised means even though they are similar, these cells differ in shape, size, or function depending on the role in our bodies. These are the cells that have developed certain specific characteristics to perform a particular function.

Example: Red blood cells are significant examples of a specialised cell. They carry oxygen around the human body when it is bound to a protein called the haemoglobin.

Specialisations:

  • RBC lacks a nucleus, which allows them to contain more haemoglobin.
  • These specialised cells have a biconcave shape that increases their surface area. It enables them to absorb an increased amount of oxygen quickly.
  • RBC has a thin outer membrane to allow for fast oxygen diffusion.

If you are still pondering over the question, “What are specialised cells?” click here to know more.

BBC Bitesize Biology Specialised cells: Definition

Bitesize is the BBC’s free study support resource for school-age students in the United Kingdom. It is designed to aid GCSE as well as other students in schoolwork and for older students in exams. The Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 along with the GCSE section covers a whole range of subjects like English, History, Biology, Geography, History, French, Maths, Music and much more. It can help students nearly anywhere in the world.

According to the biology tutors of BBC Bitesize, often the GCSE students type “What are specialised cells?” into the search bar.

According to BBC Bitesize Biology tutors, specialised cells are as follows:

  • Specialised cells have a distinct role to perform.
  • Every specialised cell has a different and unique function. They have special features that allow them to perform specialised functions.
  • A remarkable example of a specialised cell is the muscle cells. They are held together in bundles, which pull them together to make the muscles contract.

Specialised plant cells: Definition

Specialised plant cells have some unique significant characteristics in addition to what the normal cell does.

 Example- In pitcher plant, the leave cells are specialised to trap the insects. Similarly, in mangrove plants, the root cells are specialised to provide air and water into the tree by growing out of the soil.

List of specialised plant cells:

Here is a list of specialised plant cells. Have a look at them:

             Image 2: Example of specialised cells in plants

  • Root Hair Cells: One of the specialised cells of plants is root hair cells. It allows plants to absorb more water. They also enable a plant to absorb the minerals it needs to be alive.
  • Xylem cells: The xylem is a specialised cell used to transport the water up to the stem of the plant and into the leaves. The xylem vessels are made up of a series of connected dead xylem cells. The end walls of the dead cells are broken to allow the water to move through.
  • Phloem cells: The phloem is specialised to transport food products to parts of the plant where they are required. The end walls of phloem cells contain small holes to allow food products to move up and down the phloem vessels.

Examples of specialised cells in the human body

Apart from the plants, there are specialised cells in the human body as well. These cells are different from the normal cells like the nerve cells, which controls neural coordination. Let’s have a look at the specialised cells in the human body:

Change the spelling of neurons.

                                                   Image 3: Examples of specialised animal cells

  • Muscle cells: Muscle cells help a human being to make movements. These cylindrical cells are formed of banded fibres that allow contraction.
  • Sperm cells: Specialised sperm cells are essential for human reproduction. These cells are highly mobile, as they move to locate an egg for fertilisation. The mitochondria within the sperm cells provide the energy that these specialised cells move with a high rate of speed.
  • Leukocyte: Leukocytes are specialised cells that work to keep the human body free of infection. These cells find and destroy microbes within the human body, responding to and treating the infection.
  • Red blood cells: RBC carries oxygen around the body, delivering it to organs that require this life-giving gas. Cells of this type are primarily composed of haemoglobin, a chemical that allows the uptake and carrying of oxygen.
  • Neurons: Neurons are specialised cells that carry messages into the human brain. These cells have extensions known as dendrites and axons that bring information into and release information from the cell itself. Some of these also carry chemicals that are specialised for electrochemical communication. It allows them to communicate with each other form the basic thought process and makes the body functioning possible.

To conclude,

Save this post to the bookmark tab on your laptop so that you can find all the information on specialised cells when you are drafting the assignment. With this detailed guide, you can write a remarkable assignment that is sure to fetch top-notch grades this semester.

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