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Difference Between Organ and Organelle

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Last updated date: 23rd Apr 2024
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The Building Blocks of Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Organs and Organelles

Organs are collections of tissues that work together to perform a specific function in the body of a living organism, while organelles are specialised structures within a cell that perform specific functions. Both organs and organelles are essential for the survival of living organisms, and each has a specific function that is necessary for the organism to maintain homeostasis and carry out life processes. Understanding the roles of organs and organelles is crucial for understanding the complexities of living organisms, and can help us appreciate the amazing processes that allow us to function and thrive. Now let’s explain organ and organelle in detail.

What is Organ and Organelle?

Organ 

Organs are collections of tissues that work together to perform a specific function in the body of a living organism. Each organ has a specific function that is essential for the survival of the organism, and the proper functioning of organs is necessary for the maintenance of homeostasis, or the stable internal environment of the organism. Organs are usually composed of several types of tissues, such as muscle, connective tissue, and epithelial tissue, that work together to carry out the organ's function.


For example, the heart is an organ composed of cardiac muscle tissue, connective tissue, and epithelial tissue, and its function is to pump blood throughout the body. Other examples of organs include the lungs, liver, kidneys, and brain.


  • Heart - pumps blood throughout the body

  • Lungs - exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood

  • Brain - controls the body's functions and processes sensory information

  • Liver - filters blood, produces bile, and regulates metabolism

  • Kidneys - filter blood and regulate fluid balance in the body


Organelle

Organelles are specialised cell structures that carry out  specific functions. Each organelle is surrounded by a membrane that separates its internal environment from the rest of the cell, and each has a specific function that is essential for the proper functioning of the cell. By working together in a highly coordinated manner, organelles allow cells to carry out the many complex processes that are necessary for life.


Here are some examples of organelles and their functions:


  • Nucleus - contains the DNA that makes up the cell and regulates its functions.

  • Mitochondria - By cellular respiration, the cell generates energy (ATP).

  • Ribosomes - synthesize proteins.

  • Golgi Apparatus - Proteins and lipids are processed and packaged for transport.

  • Peroxisomes - contain enzymes that break down fatty acids and other molecules.


These are just a few examples of the many organelles that can be found in cells. Each organelle has a specific function that is essential for the proper functioning of the cell, and understanding the roles of organelles is crucial for understanding the complexities of living organisms.


Characteristics of Organ and Organelle

Organ

Organs in the body have several characteristics that distinguish them from other structures. Some of these characteristics include:


  • Organs are composed of two or more types of tissues that work together to perform a specific function.

  • Each organ in the body has a specific function that is essential for the proper functioning of the body.

  • Each organ has a unique structure that is adapted to its specific function.

  • Organs in the body are interdependent and work together to maintain homeostasis or the body's internal balance.

  • Organs are vital to the survival of the organism and cannot be removed without serious consequences.

  • Organs are complex structures that are composed of many different cells, tissues, and structures. 

  • Organs are able to adapt to changing conditions in the body and modify their function accordingly.

  • Some organs in the body have the ability to repair and regenerate themselves in response to injury or damage.


Organelle

Organelles are specialized structures within cells that perform specific functions. Some of the characteristics of organelles include:


  • Most organelles are surrounded by a membrane that separates their internal environment from the rest of the cell.

  • Each organelle has a specific function that is essential for the proper functioning of the cell.

  • Each organelle has a unique structure that is adapted to its specific function.

  • Organelles in the cell are interdependent and work together to maintain the cell's internal environment.

  • Organelles are vital to the survival of the cell and cannot be removed without serious consequences.

  • Organelles are complex structures that are composed of many different molecules, structures, and proteins.

  • Organelles are able to adapt to changing conditions in the cell and modify their function accordingly.

  • Some organelles in the cell have the ability to reproduce themselves in response to the needs of the cell.


Organ and Organelle Difference 

The table presented below highlights the main differences between organ and organelle.


S.No

Organ

Organelle

1

It is made up of two or more different tissue types.

It is made up of molecules and proteins.

2

It is larger in size.

It is smaller in size. 

3

It is visible to the naked eye.

It is only visible under a microscope.

4

It performs specific functions in the body.

It performs specific functions within the cell.

5

Organs are surrounded by a membrane.

Organelles are surrounded by a lipid bilayer.

6

It cannot be removed without serious consequences.

It can be removed without serious consequences to the cell.

7

Have the ability to repair and regenerate themselves.

Have the ability to reproduce themselves in response to the needs of the cell.

8

It is essential to the organism's survival.

It is essential to the survival of the cell.

9

Examples include the heart, liver, brain, etc.

Examples include the nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes, etc.


Summary

In summary, we looked at what is organ and organelle in detail that is organs are composed of two or more types of tissues, are larger in size, perform specific functions in the body, are surrounded by a membrane, cannot be removed without serious consequences and have the ability to repair and regenerate themselves, are vital to the survival of the organism and are composed of many different cells and structures. In contrast, organelles are composed of molecules and proteins, are smaller in size, perform specific functions within the cell, are surrounded by a lipid bilayer, can be removed without serious consequences to the cell, have the ability to reproduce themselves in response to the needs of the cell, are vital to the survival of the cell, and are composed of many different molecules, structures, and proteins.

FAQs on Difference Between Organ and Organelle

1. What is the difference between an organ and an organelle?

The main difference between an organ and an organelle is that an organ is a complex structure composed of two or more types of tissues that perform specific functions in the body, while an organelle is a specialised structure within a cell that performs specific functions within the cell. Organs are larger in size and are visible to the naked eye, while organelles are much smaller in size and are only visible under a microscope. Finally, organs are vital to the survival of the organism, while organelles are vital to the survival of the cell.

2. Do organs have organelles?

Yes, organs do have organelles. Organs are made up of many different types of cells, and each cell contains many organelles that perform specific functions within the cell. For example, the liver is an organ that contains many different types of cells, including hepatocytes. Hepatocytes contain many different organelles, including mitochondria, ribosomes, and the smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum. These organelles work together to perform the various functions of the hepatocyte and the liver as a whole.

3. Are organelles bigger than organs?

No, organelles are not bigger than organs. Organelles are much smaller in size than organs and are only visible under a microscope. Organelles are typically measured in nanometers (nm) or micrometers (μm), while organs are measured in centimeters (cm) or larger. For example, a typical animal cell is only about 10-30 μm in diameter, while a human heart can be up to 15 cm in length and 10 cm in width. While organelles are much smaller than organs, they are still important because they perform specific functions within the cell that are essential for the survival of the organism.