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What are the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

Prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, while eukaryotic cells have both.

Prokaryotic cells are simple in structure and lack a nucleus. Their genetic material is contained in a single circular chromosome located in the cytoplasm. They also lack membrane-bound organelles, such as mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. Instead, they have ribosomes, which are responsible for protein synthesis. Prokaryotic cells are found in bacteria and archaea.

Eukaryotic cells, on the other hand, are more complex in structure and contain a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. The nucleus contains the genetic material in the form of multiple linear chromosomes. Eukaryotic cells also have mitochondria, which are responsible for energy production, and endoplasmic reticulum, which is involved in protein synthesis and lipid metabolism. Eukaryotic cells are found in animals, plants, fungi, and protists.

Another key difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is their size. Prokaryotic cells are typically smaller, ranging from 0.1 to 5 micrometers in diameter, while eukaryotic cells are larger, ranging from 10 to 100 micrometers in diameter.

Overall, the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells reflect their different evolutionary histories and adaptations to different environments. Understanding these differences is important for understanding the diversity of life on Earth and the processes that govern cellular function.

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