Writing

The cell is the basic unit of life. It is a highly organized structure composed of numerous organelles, cytoplasm, cytoskeletal structures and surrounded by a plasma membrane. Each of these structures has their own specific functions that allow the cell to survive. In addition, cells need to communicate with each other. In multicellular organisms, cell to cell communication is necessary for development and function of organs and organ systems. Dysfunction of cellular components and/or cellular communication may not only affect the individual cell but may affect the entire organism resulting in a clinical disorder.

Respond to the two topics below for this unit’s Discussion. Then, throughout the week, review your classmates’ posts and comment as appropriate on at least two other posts per the Discussion Guidelines.

1. The cell consists of numerous organelles and structures surrounded by the plasma membrane (e.g., lysosomes, mitochondria, etc.).

  • Select one of the following human disorders that are a result of cellular dysfunction.
    • Achondrogenesis type 1A
    • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome
    • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
    • Gaucher Disease
    • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS)
    • Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy
    • Leigh’s Disease
    • Niemann-Pick type C
    • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia
    • Pompe Disease
    • Zellweger Syndrome

Then include the following for each disorder:

  1. Describe the symptoms/outcomes of the disorder.
  2. Identify the organelle that is affected. 
  3. Discuss the normal function of this organelle and how its function is disrupted.
  4. What conclusions can you draw about the importance of this organelle in the cell?
  5. Based on what you have learned about cell structure, predict how a cell from this disorder would look like under the microscope.
  6. Based on the cell biology, what options do you have to treat the disorder?

2. Cells need to communicate with each other in order for organs and organ systems to develop and function. There are multiple mechanisms by which cells communicate with each other. Circulating hormones (endocrine system) allows communication over long distances between multiple cell types. Paracrine signaling offers local communication between cells. Finally, gap junctions allow communication between adjacent cells.

  • Select one of the following human disorders:
    • Cushing’s Syndrome
    • Localized Cancers
    • Depression

Then include the following for each disorder:

  1. Describe how cellular communication is disrupted. 
  2. Hypothesize how you would correct the communication error. 
  3. What conclusions can you draw on the importance of cell communication in the human body?

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