One recurring theme in biology is the complementarity between structure and function. This can be observed starting from the subcellular level up to the organismic level. Since my blog is about cells, I’ll focus first on the cellular level. Then in a future post, I will talk about this on the subcellular level.
Since you have already seen how a nerve cell and an intestinal cell look like (Nov 20and 22), I’ll just focus on these two first.
A nerve cell’s function is communication, so its many processes are arranged in such a way that it can receive as well as send as much information as possible. The dendrites, the receiving ends, are highly branched, while the axon, the sending end, reaches out as far as possible.
An intestinal cell on the other hand is mainly absorptive in its function. Thus the “frills” or microvilli that I mentioned before are designed to increase the absorptive surface of this cell.
We can look other cells in a future post or you can start looking at other cells in your books and try to see if you can determine the function of the cell based on its structure.