Q:

What is a good analogy for the functioning of the nucleolus?

A:

The best analogy for the nucleolus in eukaryotic cells is a factory that makes tools that are used to build other resources. The primary function of the nucleolus is to combine and construct ribosomes. The primary function of ribosomes is to build proteins necessary for the cell.

In this analogy, one should consider that a civilization does not want hammers, saws and wrenches. Instead, human societies require finished goods such as houses and cars. Similarly, cells do not desire ribosomes; they desire proteins, which the ribosomes produce. In the tool factory analogy, a single tool may be used to build many different types of goods. Similarly, the cell’s nucleolus produces ribosomes, which are similar in structure but capable of producing an extremely wide variety of proteins.

Ribosomes are extremely numerous in an organism’s cells, and the nucleolus produces a large number of them to meet the protein needs of the cell. While many of the cell’s ribosomes are situated on the endoplasmic reticulum, many are also free to float through the cell’s cytoplasm. Occasionally, ribosomes clump together with other ribosomes. Some animals have up to 10 million ribosomes in their growing, functioning cells. Each time the cell divides, the nucleolus must produce double this number.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is a good analogy for the mole concept?

    A:

    The best analogy for a mole is a dozen eggs. Just as a dozen eggs is a convenient unit of measure for bakers and chefs, the concept of a mole provides chemists with a convenient unit of measure for dealing with atoms and molecules. Just as a dozen eggs is equal to 12 eggs, regardless of their size or color, one mole of eggs contains exactly 6.02 x 10^23 eggs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens in the nucleolus?

    A:

    The nucleolus is chiefly responsible for creating ribosomes, which in turn function as factories for protein synthesis. The nucleolus contains three main organizing regions where transcription and processing of rRNA occurs. It also purportedly aids in other processes, like the packaging of signal recognition particles and the alteration of transfer RNA. The nucleolus is located in the nucleus, and thus only exists in eukaryotic cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a nucleolus?

    A:

    A nucleolus is a substructure composed of nucleic acids and proteins that is found within the nucleus of a cell. Known as the ribosome production factory, malfunction of the nucleolus has been found to cause disease in humans.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where are ribosomes made?

    A:

    According to Florida State University, ribosomes are primarily constructed in the nucleolus of all living cells. Inside the nucleolus, four strands ribosomal RNA (rRNA) bind together with ribosomal proteins. This results in two structures, called the small ribosome subunit and the large ribosome subunit. Both of these subunits travel through pores in the nucleus and enter the free space of the cell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore