Answer to Question #122168 in Cell Biology for waniya shaikh

Question #122168
Consider some question about cell structure or function that you would be interested in answering. Would the data required to answer the question be easier to collect by working on an entire plant or animal or on a population of cultured cells? What might be the advantages and disadvantages of working on a whole organism versus a cell culture?
Expert's answer

An specified answer to this depends on the question presented. Consider the question, Discuss about the plasma membrane. It would be advantageous to answer the question if one was working on a population of cultured cells rather than on an entire plant or animal as there would be ease of obtaining large cell numbers, ability to target and study a specific cell type and the ability to use controlled in vitro conditions whose variables can be minimized. The advantage of working with the whole plant or animal is that the information gathered gives a picture of the part played by a plasma membrane function on the overall activity in the living organism. For instance, in the study of the transport of glucose across the plasma membrane using cultured liver cells, the data collected cannot be used to give proper information on the role of the process in maintenance of blood glucose concentration. A disadvantage of using whole organisms rather than cultures is that it is expensive. Another disadvantage of using the whole plant or animal is that it is time consuming compared to using a cell culture.

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