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Cells Key Words

Cell terms

Cell Biology Vocabulary

DNA replication

The DNA in the cell makes an exact copy of itself prior to cell division so that there is a full set of genetic information available in each cell after division has occurred.

Aerobic respiration

To  convert biochemical energy from nutrients into useable energy (ATP) needed for metabolism, growth, movement etc

C6H12O6 + 6O2 à6CO2 + 6H2O +38ATP + heat



Diffusion is the spread of particles in fluids through random motion from regions of higher concentrations to regions of lower concentrations  until they are equal.(fluids are gases and liquids)


Osmosis is the movement of water across a partially (semi) permeable membrane from an area of high water potential (low solute concentration) to an area of low water potential (high solute concentration) until they are equal.

Water potential

Water potential is the tendency of water to move out of that solution. Water potential is the combined effect of  water concentration and pressure.


Two solutions of the same concentration


A solution with low solute concentration and high water concentration (ie dilute sugar solution)


A solution with high solute concentration and low water concentration. (ie concentrated sugar solution)

Active transport

The movement of molecules or ions across a membrane against a concentration gradient. Active transport requires the  use of cell’s energy and involves  globular proteins which act as pumps.


Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up the rate of a reaction or allow reactions to take place in conditions where it would not otherwise be possible.


Process by which  plants and some bacteria convert simple inorganic molecules into organic food molecules using light energy.

             (w light & chlorophyll)

6CO2    +    6H2O    à     C6H12O6   +   6O2


The chemical reactions in cells.





The loss of the three-dimensional shape of a protein, resulting in it’s inactivation. Caused by heat or acids.


Anaerobic process by which pyruvic acid is reduced to substances such as lactic acid (in animals) or ethanol (in plants) and a little ATP.

Key Words: These are the words that you are expected to understand when used in questions and be able to use in your answers

Core Vocabulary

· Activation Energy

· Active Site

· Active Transport

· Adenine


· Aerobic

· Alcohol

· Amoeba

· Anaerobic


· Catalyst

· Cell Membrane

· Cell Wall

· Cellular Respiration

· Cellulose

· Centriole

· Chlamydomonas

· Chloroplast

· Cilia

· Co-Enzyme

· Co-Factor

· Concentration Gradient

· Cristae

· Cytoplasm

· Cytosine

· Denatured

· Diffusion


· Double Helix

· Endoplasmic Reticulum

· Enzyme

· Euglena

· Eye Spot

· Fermentation

· Flaccid

· Flagellum

· Glycolysis

· Golgi Apparatus

· Grana

· Guanine

· Induced Fit Model

· Ion Exchange Pump

· Lactic Acid

· Lamellae

· Light Dependent Reaction

· Light Independent Reaction

· Lipid Bilayer

· Lock And Key Theory

· Lysosome

· Matrix

· Mitochondria

· Nuclear Membrane

· Nucleolus

· Nucleotide

· Nucleus

· Oral Groove

· Organelles

· Osmoregulation

· Osmosis

· Paramecium

· Passive Transport

· Phagocytosis

· Photosynthesis

· Pinocytosis

· Plasmolysis

· Protist

· Ribosome

· Secretion

· Semi-Permeable Membrane

· Stroma

· Substrate

· Surface Area : Volume Ratio

· Thymine

· Turgor

· Unicellular Organism

· Uracil

· Vacuole

· Vesicle

Supplementary Vocabulary

· Acetyl Coenzyme A

· Electron Transport Chain

· Enzyme Inhibitor

· Eukaryotic

· Excretion

· Krebs Cycle

· Metal Ions

· Micronutrients

· Nucleic Acids

· Prokaryotic

· Pyruvate


· Trace Elements

· Vitamins