Articles, Blog

(OLD VIDEO) Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

August 26, 2019

Closed captioning is on. To turn off, click the CC button at bottom right. Follow the amoebas on Twitter (@amoebasisters) and Facebook! Today we’re going to talk about the two different
types of cells. This is a very important biology objective, but it’s also really important
in daily life. So let me give you an example. Let’s say you get a really bad infection.
And there’s a lot of things that can cause an infection right? For example, bacteria can
cause infections. And viruses can cause infections. But the kind of infection that I’m talking
about today is a fungus infection. Fungi (that’s the plural of fungus as you don’t say “funguses,”
you say “fungi”) can cause all kinds of infections. For example, ringworm. That’s not a worm at
all despite its name. It’s actually a fungus. Or athlete’s foot. That’s a fungus. Or a yeast
infection. Ok, I’m probably really grossing you out but these are all types of fungus
infections. But the kind of fungus infection that I’m going to talk about is kind of more
rare. It would happen if, for example, you were in the hospital and your immune system
was really compromised. This is not a common thing at all but it is a possible thing. Fungi
can get into the bloodstream and if it does, it is extremely difficult to treat. Why? Well
for one thing, antibiotics do not work on fungi. Antibiotics only work on bacteria.
Bacteria are an example of prokaryote cells. So fungi are not a type of prokaryote. They
are actually the other type of cell called eukaryotes and antibiotics are not effective
against eukaryotes. Your own cells are also eukaryotes. So when you try to treat the fungus
that’s in the blood, it’s extremely difficult to treat because you might hurt your own cells
or have some undesirable side effects. So the example here talked about two different
kinds of cells. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prokaryotes were the bacteria. Eukaryotes,
however, in our example included the fungi cells and also the human cells. Now these
two different cell types have one major thing in common. They both have a cell membrane.
All living cells have cell membranes. We have a longer clip on how important the cell membrane
is. It controls what goes in and out of the cell, and by doing that, it keeps things pretty
stable. Don’t get the cell membrane though mixed up with the cell wall, which offers
support and protection. That varies in the group so that’s not an always thing. Cell
membrane? Yes, always. Also both prokaryotes and eukaryotes have genetic material in the
form of DNA. They both have this or otherwise when you make more of this type of cell, there
would be no way to transfer the genetic information. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes both have ribosomes
which are these tiny little structures that make protein for the cell. We actually get
in this fascinating process a bit later. Now one major difference between prokaryotes and
eukaryotes is that eukaryotes have something called membrane bound organelles. I like to
thing of the word “organelle” like the word “organ.” You know how you have organs in your
body? You have a heart, a liver, and lungs? Well with the word organelle, like to thing
of “little organs” and eukaryotes have these membrane bound organelles. There’s a whole
list of them and if you look online you can find them, but prokaryotes do not have membrane
bound organelles. So one way I like to tell students to remember this is that in the word
eukaryote, the “eu” rhymes with “do” and they do have membrane bound organelles. The “pro”
in prokaryote rhymes with “no” and they do not have membrane bound organelles. So what
is an example of a membrane bound organelle? A very famous one is the nucleus. I say it’s
famous because everyone always thinks of this one. It’s kind of like the brain of the cell.
It controls a lot of the cell’s functions. It also holds the genetic material for eukaryotes.
So the nucleus holds the DNA. Prokaryotes, again do not have membrane bound organelles,
so they do not have a nucleus. So there DNA is organized in a different manner and it’s
not as nicely organized either as it is in a eukaryote cell. We’re not going to go into
the different types of organelles today. That’s pretty easy information to find. One thing
though that I’d like to mention. If a cell has a certain function, it might have more
of a certain kind of organelle or it might have a different kind of organelle than another
cell. So let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. Plant cells, for example,
are a type of eukaryote. They have something called a chloroplast that animal cells don’t
have, because animal cells can not make sugar from the sun. Or say we are talking about
muscle cells in your body. They need a lot of energy in order to do their function so
actually muscle cells have a lot of a type of organelle called mitochondria. They have
more than a lot of other cells, because they have to produce so much energy. So the types
of organelles and the quantity of them can vary slightly because you have these different
cell functions. Well that’s it for the amoeba sisters and we remind you to stay curious!


  • Reply Jordan B December 19, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you for helping me with my science homework, it is so easy to understand now.

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    This is some good stuff

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  • Reply Samuel Candero January 20, 2017 at 1:29 am


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    what are the 3 ccells theory

  • Reply FuriousTiger21 _ January 25, 2017 at 3:53 am

    im only wating this because my friebds electronics arent working because this is homework

  • Reply Amoeba Sisters January 25, 2017 at 4:00 am

    This was one of our very first videos! Update 7/30/2018: We made a prokaryotic vs eukaryotic cells video that is greatly improved here: You can also find a more in-depth video introducing cells here:

  • Reply Harmony Sketch February 1, 2017 at 8:21 am

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    when lernig about the cell last year one of the only things iremember is that the mitocondrea is the powerhouse of the cell

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  • Reply Inara Ahmed March 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Thanks!this vid helped a lot!!

  • Reply Kate Doolittle March 12, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    can prokaryotes and eukaryotes reproduce without a host?

  • Reply Mayline Urias March 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm


  • Reply Alex da squash March 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

    this is very helpful. thanks amoeba sisters!

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  • Reply Melbourne's Public Transport Gallery April 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    One of the best videos so far to explain the different between the two types of cells. Thank you. really helped and will help my students too.

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    These are the cutest cells I've ever seen.

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    What was the name of the extremely rare fungus?

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    mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

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    Quick attack is a normal type move so bacteria has to be a fighting type. But the bacteria looks more like a poison type so quick attack should not be super effective.

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    I have to see this kind of video at school I take note myself. The video is very nice but it's too hard for me to take note. It's too fast. Does everyone know the tip of taking note easily? Please let me know if you don't mind. Thank you.

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  • Reply A.F. Ihlo November 30, 2017 at 2:28 am

    So how does modern medicine deal with eukaryote fungi in those situations?

  • Reply MShepherd88 December 4, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Thank you for your useful videos, I like using them in class (I teach biology)! I do want to point out one minor error in this video, though, for anyone watching:

    It's uncommon to hear them called "eukaryote cells" or "prokaryote cells," better is calling them "eukaryotic cells" or "prokaryotic cells." The whole organism can be called a "eukaryote" if it has eukaryotic cells.

    Still a great video with good information, thanks again.

  • Reply Zyrim December 5, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Thanks well

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    Amoeba sisters are the best video to learn Biology I have seen. I like it in the sense of humor that it has and the animation. Good job "Amoeba Sisters", keep making videos…please! so I can continue getting A on my grades :);)

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    Is that Supermario2/Doki Doki panic I hear?

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    this was verrrry intresting like if you had to watch it for science

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    like if you had to watch for science

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    We watched this is school today xD

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    Watching this in living environment rn…

  • Reply Tyler Natividad January 11, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Don't you hate it when people comment on their own comments?

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    O god the horror

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    2019 anyone?

  • Reply Theresa Ziccardi March 14, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Dear Amoeba Sisters, We love you! You spelled Eukaryote wrong, just thought we would let you know! Mrs. Ziccardi's Class

  • Reply Lucy Brayton May 14, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Main point: single celled and multi celled

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