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Cytoplasm is the gelatinous liquid that fills the inside of a cell. It is composed of water, salts, and various organic molecules. Some intracellular organelles, such the nucleus and mitochondria, are enclosed by membranes that separate them from the cytoplasm.




Narration



Cytoplasm's a funny term. So what does "cyto" mean? "Cyto" means "cell", "plasm" means "stuff", so it's "cell stuff". So think about a cell as a big water balloon, and the water balloon has little pieces of fruit floating around in it. And the cytoplasm is the water in the water balloon, and it's a little bit thicker than water, but it makes up the majority of the inside of most cells. Now, inside the cell, inside that water balloon, there's a nucleus and there's other so-called organelles, like mitochondria, or lysosomes, or the endoplasmic reticulum and other unpronounceable organelles, but the cytoplasm is the ocean in which all of these organelles float.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.

Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms


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