Term Paper: Cell

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Brain Cells

Distinguish between the following cell types: NEURON, OLIGODENDROCYTE and ASTROCYTE.

The brain has a number of different cells present within its composition responsible for different functions. If we were to distinguish between cells found in the brain the following characteristics would have to be studied.

NEURON: Neurons are cells that act as messengers receiving electro-chemical signals from the neuro system and conduct them to the brain. There can be various types of neurons depending on their length which can vary from 4 microns (.004 mm) to 100 microns (.1 mm) in diameter. Their length can be from a millimeter to several feet long. The neuron when viewed can be seen to contain a cell body with receivers in the form of branches called dendrites [similar to tentacles in shape]. Then there is a projection called an axon that conducts the actual nerve signal at the end of which the axon terminal transmits it along a gap within the cell called the synapse. [Enchanted Learning.com, 2005] Thus, to identify these cells the researcher would have to ensure the presence of an axon and dendrites.


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