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National Science Foundation
Biology - An overview of NSF research
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Nucleus
2 Nucleus

In complex cells, the genetic material--DNA--is stored in the nucleus, which serves as the cell's control center. When a cell is not dividing, DNA strands look like a ball of entangled threads. But when the cell divides, the DNA strands duplicate and take on the complicated organization of chromosomes. Most bacteria have only one, circular chromosome; but a more complex organism like the Indian fern (Ophioglossum reticulatum), has over 1200. Scientists are using high-powered microscopes to see inside the nucleus of dividing cells to determine what role different DNA arrangements play in cell division and other functions.

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1. Cell Membrane 2. Nucleus 3. DNA 4. RNA 5. Ribosome 6. Protein 7. Endoplasmic Reticulum 8. Mitochondria
A Tour of the Cell
Explore the illustration or click on a number to learn more about the cell.

Credit: Nicolle Rager, National Science Foundation