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Glossary

antibodies (AN-ti-bod-ees): weapons produced by white blood cells to fight disease

bacteria (bak-TIHR-ee-uh): common single-celled organisms that sometimes harm humans

botulism (BACH-eh-lizm): a type of poisoning caused by a bacteria's toxin

cells (selz): basic units of life

chlorophyll (KLOR-uh-fil): green matter inside chloroplasts that absorb the Sun's rays

chromosomes (KROH-muh-sohms): threadlike structures in the cell that carries genes

cloning (KLON-eeng): making an organism with the same genetic material as one parent

fertilization (fur-tuh-li-ZA-shun): uniting the male's sex cell, or sperm, with the female's egg

genes (jeens): units in chromosomes that contain instructions passed from parent to offspring

meiosis (my-O-sis): the process in which a parent cell divides twice to produce four sex cells, each with half the chromosomes of the parent

mitosis (my-TOH-sis): the process in which a parent cell divides one time, making two exact copies of itself

neurons (NOOR-ons): nerve cells

nucleus (NOO-klee-uhss): the control center for the cell, which contains the chromosomes

photosynthesis (foh-toh-SIN-thuh-siss): the process by which green plants use the Sun's energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into food, giving off oxygen as a by-product

pollinate (POHL-I-nate): to transfer pollen to a flower's pistil

toxins (TOX-ins): poisons produced by organisms such as bacteria

traits (TRATES): qualities that make one organism different from another

vacuole (VAC-u-ole): a large sac for fluid inside a plant cell

viruses (VYE-ruhss-es): tiny chemical packets containing genes that invade living cells in order to reproduce

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsCells