Cell Analogy

What are some examples of cell analogies?

I can't use the analogy city or amusement park.

It doesn't matter if it's a plant cell or animal cell.

Expert Answers
melony82 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cells are the basic unit of structure and form in all living things.  Some organisms are made of only one cell (unicellular) while others are made of trillions (multicellular).  Each cell must be able to carry out the basic functions of life, including obtaining and using nutrients, producing proteins, shipping said proteins, etc.  Some cells (prokaryotes) are relatively simple with very few internal structures.  They manage, in part, because they are so small that it does not take much coordination to get things done.  Larger and more complex cells (eukaryotes) require specialized structures to accomplish all of the necessities of life.  These structures are called organelles, and they include the nucleus, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, vacuoles, mitochondria, and more.

If you were to compare a eukaryotic cell, which includes plants and animals, to a factory, you might see the ribosomes as workers (they produce protein), the nucleus as the boss (it controls what is happening in the cell), the rough endoplasmic reticulum as the conveyer belt (this is where the protein is produced), the Golgi apparatus as the shipping center (it packages and ships proteins), and the mitochondria as power generators (they use food to provide usable energy to the cell).  Following this analogy, you should be able to come up with roles for the rest of the organelles within your factory. 

pranitingale | Student
The wall around the city is like the cell membrane. The wall controls movement of people and items coming in and out of the city through the various ports of entry that are controlled by immigration. The cell membrane controls movement of items in and out of the cell through various pores The castle is like the cell's nucleus. The castle is the control centre of the city, it regulates all activity in the city. The nucleus is the control center of the cell regulating all cell activity. The castle wall is like the nuclear membrane. The castle wall controls movement in and out of the castle through guarded entrances. The nuclear membrane controls the movement of substances in and out of the nucleus through pores. The king is like the cell's chromosomes. The king is found in the castle, he directs all activities in the city including expansion and creation of another kingdom should the city grow too large. Chromosomes are found in the nucleus and directs all activities of the cell including growth and reproduction. The city roads are like the endoplasmic reticulum. Roads are the transport system which allows materials to be carried throughout the city. The ER is a transport system that carries materials throughout the cell. The machine shops are like the cell's ribosomes. The machine shops are built along the roads, here they create materials to build the city, instruction is received at the tech school located in the castle. Ribosomes are attached to the ER, they are protein factories that create the cells building materials. They receive instruction from the nucleolus in the nucleus. The windmill is like the cell's chloroplast. The windmill transforms the raw energy of wind into productive energy for the city like the chloroplast transforms the raw energy of the sun into productive energy for the cell. The Garden is like the Cell's Mitochondria. The Garden takes manure and seeds that have been brought into the city and transforms them into food that provides energy for the people and horses. The mitochondria produces ATP which is food for the cell allowing it to function. The grocer and lagoon in the city act like a cell's vacuole. The grocer stores the food for the city and the lagoon is where the city waste is stored. The vacuole stores both the cells waste and food. The horse drawn wagons are like the cell's lysosomes. The wagons travel around the city collecting peoples garbage and fixing up what needs to be repaired. The lysosomes move around the cell cleaning up and doing cell maintenance.
sobiamujeeb | Student

Vacuole - Water fountains

Ribosome - Food in Food Court

Golgi - Sale Papers

Lysosome-The Shoppers

Cytoplasm - Security Guards

Cell Membrane - The Doors

Mitochondria - Food Court

Nucleus - Mall Manager

Cell : Mall 

cody1kc2 | Student

Use a company and a building. The building is the cell membrane. The president is the nucleus and he keeps all the files for the company in his office. Just keep going from there. Internal mail RER external mail Golgi and so on.

ppw | Student

a cell being a pizza parlor.