Mon April 16, 2012 By: Ritu Keskar

What is a cell and why is it called the fundamentalunit of life? Why is our body made up of cells??

Expert Reply
Tue April 17, 2012
Cell is an autonomous self-replicating unit that may exist as functional independent unit of life (as in the case of unicellular organism), or as a sub-unit in a multicellular organism that is specialized into carrying out particular functions towards the cause of the organism as a whole.
There are two distinct types of cells:
  • Prokaryotic cells (such as bacterial cells) and
  • Eukaryotic cells (such as plant or animal cell)


All living organisms whether small or big, are made up of cells. A cell is the smallest unit of life and is capable of carrying out all living functions. Cells are the building blocks of life. Cell is a self-sufficient living entity. All the metabolic activities of life like respiration, digestion, excretion etc. occur at the cell level. Hence cell is called the structural and functional unit of life.

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