The basic unit that constitutes a living organism and facilitates life functions is called a cell. All living organisms comprise cells, and millions of microorganisms like bacteria are nothing but a cell capable of fully functioning on its own. Further, for complex multicellular organisms like plants and animals, these cells are organized into tissues, organs, and organ systems. Cells are categorized as eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic (primitive) cells based on the presence or absence of the nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles.
Tissues are formed by cells of similar functions being grouped together. The tissues further develop into organs with specific functions. Tissues are hence similar to cells but more organized and specialized to perform a particular function. In plants, there are broadly two types of tissues- meristematic tissues that contain actively dividing cells, and permanent tissues that are differentiated to do specific functions.
In animals, the tissues are divided into specialized categories as follows.
Epithelial Tissues - They form the outer surfaces, membranes, and linings of organs and organ systems.
Muscle Tissues - They form the skeletal muscles, voluntary muscles, involuntary muscles, and cardiac muscles. They account for movement inside and outside the body.
Connective tissues constitute blood, bone, ligaments, tendons, and adipose tissues, connecting between other tissues.
Nervous tissues are the tissues in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system that transmit neural messages for control and coordination.
One can differentiate between cell and tissue as follows.
The ovum or the mature egg released by a female human's ovaries is the largest cell in the body. Its diameter is 120µm. On the contrary, the smallest cell in humans is the head of a spermatozoon, which is 5µm.
About 95% of the cells inside a human body are bacteria, and most of these bacteria live in the digestive tract. Human skin also hosts billions of bacteria. There are more bacterial cells in the human body compared to human cells. These bacteria are all not bad for us either. Unlike disease-causing bacteria, many bacteria within the human body are useful and are called 'probiotics.' These bacteria protect the body from infections and provide several essential nutrients for the healthy functioning of our system.
Cells suicide when they become infected! Whenever a cell is damaged or infected, the lysosomes within a cell break. The potent digestive enzymes destroy the whole cell. This is why lysosomes are called ‘suicidal bags’ of the cell. This process of self-destruction by cells is called autophagy. Apoptosis is a similar process for programmed cell death. These self-destruction processes are natural, beneficial, and keep the body's functioning and mitosis regulated. Whenever our body cannot self-destruct unnecessary cells, it can lead to conditions like tumours or cancer. Most antitumor drugs work by inducing apoptosis among cells to tackle cancerous cells.
Conversely, when there is a defect in these self-destruction systems, situations like autoimmune diseases occur. Therefore, normal cells are also attacked and destroyed by the immune system, mistaking it as a foreign body. The latest researches are looking into the genetic and environmental reasons behind defective apoptosis and autoimmune diseases.
Cells and tissues make up a live organism. Both are structurally present in all living organisms and are equally important. Cells are an essential component of tissues; without them, there would be no problems, and cells compose the many types of tissues in all multicellular animals. Every live organism has at least one cell. Let's look at the distinction between a cell and a tissue.
The cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of life.There is no living species on the planet Earth that does not have a cell. As a result, it is regarded as a basic unit of life. Every bodily function is carried out by these tiny cells.
Robert Hooke, an English physicist, invented the term cell for the first time in 1665. Some living organisms are unicellular, consisting of only one cell that can execute all life tasks. Amoeba, algae, bacteria, fungi, and Protista are examples of unicellular creatures. Multicellular organisms are made up of various types of cells with varied activities. Multicellular organisms include plants, animals, humans, and birds.
Tissues are collections of related cells that collaborate to fulfill a certain task. They resemble cells in terms of structure and function. The word tissue comes from a Latin phrase that means "to weave."
Tissues are split into two categories in the plant kingdom: Meristematic tissue and Permanent tissue.
Tissues are classified into four categories in the animal kingdom:
Blood, bone, tendon, adipose tissue, and ligament are all examples of connective tissue.
Muscle Tissue includes skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle, among others.
Nervous Tissue includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system, among others.
Epithelial Tissue includes the surface of the skin, the reproductive tract, the airways, and the inner lining of the digestive tract.
1. What are the lifespan differences between cells and tissues?
The human body's cells are constantly regenerated. A few types of cells, such as nerve cells and heart muscle cells, are exceptions. Within a few days, the majority of cells die and are replaced by new ones. As a result, these lifespans also apply to the tissues that make them up. The functions that tissues perform have an impact on their longevity. The epithelium lining of digestive organs like the stomach lasts for five days before being replaced. The outermost layer of the body, the skin, on the other hand, is regenerated every two weeks. In adults, the tissues that make up the human skeleton replace themselves every ten years.
2. How do cells specialize in functions to form a tissue?
Cell specialization begins right from the embryo state of an organism. Embryonic stem cells instruct the cytoplasm of various cells to develop in diverse ways. As a result, an embryo's stem cells are divided into three types: ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm.. Furthermore, these broad groups get specialized and become tissues dedicated to performing particular functions like lung cells, muscles of the digestive tract, cardiac muscles, etc. Simply put, genetic information causes embryonic stem cells to send different signals to different cells. Based on these signals, they specialize in various functions and become tissues and organs in an organism.
3. What is the role of embryonic stem cells?
The development of cells is regulated by embryonic stem cells based on genetic expression. In the adult stages, these specializations are maintained by specific gene transcription factors. These genetic manifestations are created, handed down through the generations, and conserved. According to the most recent biochemistry study, these genetic expressions are responsible for variances in calcium messenger signals transmitted to distinct cells. These are also the connective tissues such as blood that are renewed continuously.
4. What is the total amount of bacteria in the human body?
Bacteria in the human body is present in the form of cells and comprises 95% of the body. The majority of these bacteria reside in the gastrointestinal system. Human skin also hosts billions of bacteria. In comparison to human cells, there are more bacterial cells in the human body. You may be surprised that these bacteria are not harmful to humans but help to carry out daily life functions. They act as a support system and are called probiotics. These bacteria defend the body from illnesses while also providing various necessary nutrients for our system's proper functioning.
5. Is there a distinction between a cell and a tissue?
The structural organization of the human body is multi-levelled. The chemical level, which comprises microscopic building blocks like atoms, is the most basic. The lowest functioning units of life are cells. Single cells exist in the smallest living animals, but cells also exist at the tissue level in sophisticated life forms like humans.Tissues are groups of cells that have similar functions.Epithelial, muscular, connective, and nerve tissue are the four basic tissue types. Each tissue type has a distinct purpose in the body.