Q:

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

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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

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.

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Related Questions

  • 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.

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  • Q:

    What is a dense area in a cell that contains nucleic acids?

    A:

    The dense area within a cell that contains nucleic acids is known as the nucleolus. The nucleolus is responsible for assembling ribosomes, which are essential to protein production and organization in a cell.

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  • Q:

    What is inside the nucleus?

    A:

    The cell nucleus of a eukaryote contains a nucleolus, chromatin, ribosomes, nucleoplasm and pores. However, the nuclear envelope surrounds the nucleus and consists of an inner and outer membrane with pores. These pores are present to regulate the flow of materials like messenger RNA and protein moving through the membrane.

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  • 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.

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