Question 2:What are the advantages and disadvantages of animal cells only having a cell membrane (Compared to a cell wall found in plants)?

Because of the absence of a cell wall in an animal cell, the animal cell has quite a few advantages. Firstly, the animal cell is more flexible and mobile compared to a plant cell, it is able to squeeze itself into tight spots or fold them selves. This makes entrance into tight spots easier compared to if it had a cell wall.

Secondly, the transport of food, water and other important materials needed by the cell would take a longer time to reach the cytoplasm due to the cell wall although it may be totally permeable to every substance. To us, the cell wall may not look that thick to us at all but if you ever thought of it in the aspect of a tiny food molecule, it would take us ages just to travel a few micrometers which the cell wall provides. On top of that, secretions from the cell like proteins and energy, would take much longer to be released from the cell if it were to have a cell wall as it would take extra time to travel out of the cell just as it would to exit. This would cause athletes to feel worn out faster because of the lack of energy when there s a sudden need for it. The journey to the cytoplasm and from it would be indeed much shorter without the cell wall.

Another advantage is that without the cell wall, animal cells are much more mobile.

Think of the cell wall as stilts under a kampong, it is a foundation for the plant which makes it more difficult to move around but the plasma membrane which is thin and flexible, the animal cell is like tent which is a portable house.

As for the disadvantages, without the cell wall, the cell once placed in a solution with higher water potential will constantly keep absorbing water until it bursts. With the cell wall like in the plant cell, the cell would not burst but become turgid. This means that if we stay in a swimming pool too long, our cells may burst due to the high water potential in the swimming pool.

Another disadvantage is that our cells are extremely vulnerable to shears and are more fragile compared to plant cells. This means that our cells are much more easily damaged by abrasions or collisions from other cells.

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7 Comments

  1. Miss Poh said,

    January 30, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Well thought out and also written! Just one area that you might wish to consider =)

    Quote:
    “On top of that, secretions from the cell like proteins and energy, would take much longer to be released from the cell if it were to have a cell wall as it would take extra time to travel out of the cell just as it would to exit.”

    A plant cell wall is fully permeable, hence it might not affect the movement of proteins in and out of a cell.

  2. Alexander Ho said,

    February 10, 2007 at 5:13 am

    oh ok..
    but what i meant was the cell wall, altough fully permeabe would increase the time needed forthe proteins and other secretions from the cell to take longer because of the extra distance it has to take to travel out..

  3. cidny said,

    August 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    THNX SO MUCH I GOT AN A+ ON MY TEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. lala said,

    July 25, 2011 at 1:59 am

    the advantages of having a cell membrane made of separate molecules instead of a sheet of continuous material like metal or plastic.

  5. Arpit Shukla said,

    June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

    madar chod fuck off

  6. Sexyguy said,

    March 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Didn’t help!

  7. Hotfucker said,

    March 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

    lets have sex!


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