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The Cell
The Cell
The Cell's logo.
Developer(s) Gregory McLeod
Publisher(s) McLeodGaming
Designer(s) Gregory McLeod
Engine Adobe Flash
Release date 2006
Genre(s) Interactive game
Mode(s) Single-player
Platform(s) Computer
Media Online flash game

The Cell is an interactive game developed in Flash and published by McLeodGaming. Created by Gregory McLeod for his biology class, it allows the player to explore and learn about the major organelles of a living cell.

Gameplay

Screenshot of The Cell

The main screen to explore the cell.

The game features an animal cell from the viewpoint of a microscope lens, allowing the player to closely examine many of its major organelles, as well as several organelles exclusive to other eukaryotic cells, such as plant cells, and even prokaryotic cells. These organelles will actively move and roughly simulate their functions. Hovering the mouse cursor over one of these organelles will show its name in the upper-left corner of the screen, and clicking on it will show a small window that gives a brief description of said organelle.

To adjust their view of the cell, the player can either zoom into or zoom out of the cell using a slider. Pressing the arrow keys will move the cell in the direction of the keys, and doing so while holding Shift will move the lens instead.

List of organelles

Below is a list of the 23 organelles available to choose from in-game, including the types of cells they can be found in and their descriptions provided in-game.

Name Type Description
Cell wall Prokaryote and plant cells What's this?! A cell wall in an animal cell?! What a discovery! This is quite an interesting find; cell walls are found in nearly every cell but animal cells. It's moving too! Amazing! The cell wall is the solid protective layer surrounding the cell membrane found in plants, algae, and some bacteria. It protects the interior of the cell from any physical movement that could damage the cell.
Cell membrane All cells Also known as the Plasma Membrane, this thin and flexible layer regulates what enters and leaves the cell.
Smooth endoplasmic reticulum Eukaryotic cells Synthesizes various lipids, fatty acids, and steroids; it is also a large transporter of nutrients found in each cell.
Rough endoplasmic reticulum Eukaryotic cells Also known as granular ER, proteins are manufactured and transported to membranes or secreted. Synthesized proteins from here leave the ER and travel to the Golgi Apparatus in vesicles. Ribosomes can also be found binded to the ER.
Ribosome All cells Small particle in the cell on which proteins are assembled and is made of RNA and protein.
Nucleoplasm All cells with nucleus Similar to cytoplasm, this is the material within the nucleus in which the other materials such as chromatin may move around in.
Chromatin All eukaryotic cells Granular material that consists of DNA bound to protein and is a structural building block of a chromosome.
Nucleolus Eukaryotic cells The nucleolus is where ribosomes are produced and is located inside of the nucleus.
Nucleus All eukaryotic and some prokaryotic cells Organelle that houses the DNA of a eukaryotic cell. Inside of it are the nucleolus and chromatin and it is protected by the nuclear membrane.
Nuclear envelope All cells with nucleus Double membrane that surrounds the nucleus. It is surrounded by tiny pores that control what enters and leaves the nucleus.
Nuclear pore All cells with nucleus Small pore on the nuclear membrane that regulates what enters and leaves the nucleus.
Cytoplasm All cells The material between the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane. All of the organelles within the cell move and reside within this material.
Intermediate filament Eukaryotic cells Important structural component of living cells. They are assembled from several different proteins, and are between the size of microtubules and microfilaments.
Microfilament Eukaryotic cells Long, thin fiber made from actin that functions in the movement and support of the cell. It also helps determine cell shape. This is one of the three main components of the cytoskeleton.

Cytoskeleton- Network of protein filaments within some cells that helps the cell maintain its shape and aids in cell movement.
Chloroplast Plant cells A chloroplast in an animal cell?! Outstanding! Chloroplasts are normally only found in plant cells and in some other organisms. They use the energy from sunlight to produce energy-rich food molecules by the process of photosynthesis. A chloroplast is one of the main plastids.

Plastid- Structure in the cytoplasm of plant cells where photosynthesis or other cellular processes are carried on. The three main plastids are: chloroplasts, leucoplasts, and chromoplasts.
Leucoplast Plant cells Wow! A leucoplast in an animal cell?! They are normally only found in plant cells. A leucoplast is a colorless plastid in the cytoplasm of plant cells around which starch collects.
Centriole Animal and some simple plant cells One of the two tiny structures within the cytoplasm of animal cells near the nuclear membrane which plays an important part in the cell division process.
Lysosome Plant and animal cells Organelle of a cell filled with enzymes needed to digest macromolecules within a cell.
Vesicle All cells Small enclosed compartment that transports, stores, or digests cellular products and wastes. This particular vesicle isn't going to stick around, so it will perform exocitosis to disperse its contents.
Microtubule Eukaryotic cells Hollow tube of protein that provides a ''track'' for organelles to be moved on, and also helps maintain cell shape. Normally microtubules will be throughout the cell almost like veins in order to to reach all of the necessary organelles, however, in this picture only a few sections are shown.
Golgi complex Most eukaryotic cells Also called the Golgi Apparatus; it's[sic] primary function is to produce proteins that are targeted to the cell membrane or other organelles. It functions as a central delivery system for the cell. Proteins reach this organelle in vesicles and leave using vesicles that bud from the Golgi.
Mitochondria Most eukaryotic cells Organelle in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells that contain the genetic material and enzymes important for cell metabolism, including the conversion of food into energy.
Vacuole Plant and other eukaryotic cells This organelle stores material such as water, salts, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Gallery

Trivia

  • This is currently the only Flash software from McLeodGaming to feature unique functions in the right-click menu, with these being a Help menu and a link to the main McLeodGaming website.

External links

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