By Evan and Melanie
Cytoplasm is basically the substance that fills the cell. It is a jelly-like material that is eighty percent water and usually clear in color. It is more like a viscous (thick) gel than a watery substance, but it liquefies when shaken or stirred. Cytoplasm, which can also be referred to as cytosol, means cell substance. This name is very fitting because cytoplasm is the substance of life that serves as a molecular soup in which all of the cell's organelles are suspended and held together by a fatty membrane. The cytoplasm is found inside the cell membrane, surrounding the nuclear envelope and the cytoplasmic organelles.
The cytoplasm, as seen through an electron microscope, appears as a three-dimensional lattice of thin protein-rich strands. These lattices are known as microtrabecular lattice (MTL) and serves to interconnect and support the other "solid" structures in the cytoplasm. In other words, the cytoplasm is like a fence that is made up of lattes that are connected together. This fence's main purpose is to hold together the organelles within the cytoplasm.
Cytoplasm is the home of the cytoskeleton, a network of cytoplasmic filaments that are responsible for the movement of the cell and give the cell its shape. The cytoplasm contains dissolved nutrients and helps dissolve waste products. The cytoplasm helps materials move around the cell by moving and churning through a process called cytoplasmic streaming. The nucleus often flows with the cytoplasm changing the shape as it moves. The cytoplasm contains many salts and is an excellent conductor of electricity, which therefore creates a medium for the vesicles, or mechanics of the cell. The function of the cytoplasm and the organelles which sit in it, are critical the cell's survival.
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