Organelles are the names of structures inside cells that help the cell survive and reproduce. Just as humans have organs to help them survive, all cells have organelles to help them survive. Forming an elaborate team, organelles play vital roles to help the cell stay alive. These roles are diverse but range from generating cellular energy, maintaining structure, synthesizing proteins, and allowing for the movement of nutrients inside and outside the cell. All cells have some organelles, such as the cell membrane and cytoplasm, while other organelles are specific to only certain types of cells. 

Cells are complex units of our body which do a variety of different tasks. In order to do these tasks, cells need a way to keep nutrients and other contents inside of themselves. This is done via a cellular structure called the cell membrane. The cell membrane is a double layered barrier filled with fats and proteins. It only allows some nutrients and proteins to come into the cell while keeping out other things. 

All eukaryotic cells require a control center which will control their operations day to day. This center regulates what proteins and fats will be made by the cell and what its next actions are. It is called the nucleus and is located in the center of the cell. The nucleus contains the DNA of the cell and has its own membrane to keep DNA safe inside. DNA is usually never found outside of the nucleus in eukaryotic cells, and any DNA found outside of the nucleus in eukaryotic cells is quickly destroyed unless it is held in other organelles.  

Eukaryotic cells have a specialized organelle to use food molecules to produce ATP, a cellular chemical used to store energy. This organelle is called the mitochondria. It takes molecules of fats, sugars, or proteins, and uses them to make energy for other organelles in the cell to use. Almost all eukaryotic cells, including animal and plant cells, have mitochondria.  

Plant cells are much more like animal cells than people think. In fact, they contain most of the same organelles and cell structures except for the addition of two newcomers. The chloroplast is a unique plant organelle which uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into sugars. It is the reason why all plants need light in order to survive. The other new structure in plants is called the cell wall. It sits outside as an additional barrier to the plant’s cell membrane. The cell wall allows for the plant to swell up with water and not burst, which gives plants their firm and tough structure. 

Animal and plant cells are filled with a fluid inside called Cytoplasm. The Cytoplasm allows for organelles and molecules to easily move around in the cell much like milk allows for cereal to move around in a bowl. Without the cytosol, we would not be able to transfer nutrients and contents inside the cell to the different organelle.