|MadSci Network: Cell Biology|
Cells do all the same things animals do. They eat, adapt to their environment, sometimes they move, sometimes they divide--either sexually or asexually--they repair any damage to themselves and they remove or recycle their waste products. It depends, of course, which type of cells you are thinking about. Yeast? Amoeba? Human? All cells need energy to do anything, so one cell function that has been well studied is obtaining energy from a food source. Cells use sugar primarily, glucose to be exact. Glycolysis is the process of breaking glucose down to form ATP. ATP is Adenosine triphosphate and it is a very handy way for cells to store energy. Cells use energy to build more cell membrane and more organelles when they divide, or when they repair themselves. Cells also use energy to replicate their DNA and when they express proteins. And movement requires energy, of course. Each time the cell uses energy it is usually using ATP. I hope this gives you many examples of cell functions. There are many more I haven't mentioned. But these are a good beginning. You can search further for information about glycolysis, DNA replication and protein expression--or also about organelle and membrane synthesis, and cell motility.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Cell Biology.