AAMC Foundational Concept 2: Highly-organized assemblies of molecules, cells, and organs interact to carry out the functions of living organisms.
Cells are the basic unit of structure in all living things. Mechanisms of cell division provide not only for the growth and maintenance of organisms, but also for the continuation of the species through asexual and sexual reproduction. The unique micro-environment to which a cell is exposed during development and division determines the fate of the cell by impacting gene expression and ultimately the cell’s collection and distribution of macromolecules, and its arrangement of subcellular organelles.
In multicellular organisms, the processes necessary to maintain life are executed by groups of cells that are organized into specialized structures with specialized functions ― both of which result from the unique properties of the cells’ component molecules.
With these building blocks, medical students will be able to learn how cells grow and integrate to form tissues and organs that carry out essential biochemical and physiological functions.