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difference between cilia, flagella and microvilli

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    cilia are found on ciliated epithelial cells, like in the lungs. They wave rhythmically to move dirt and mucus out.
    flagella are found on some bacteria and allow them to swim.
    microvilli are found in the small intestine, and increase the surface area for nutrient absorption.
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    (Original post by KissMyArtichoke)
    cilia are found on ciliated epithelial cells, like in the lungs. They wave rhythmically to move dirt and mucus out.
    flagella are found on some bacteria and allow them to swim.
    microvilli are found in the small intestine, and increase the surface area for nutrient absorption.
    Perfect explanation.
    (flagella is like the tail of a bacterium)

    can someone with knowledge of cell biology pleeeeease answer my question. It's regarding cell junctions (part of my biomed course)
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    (Original post by The Smeezington)
    :eek:
    Flagella is the tale like appendage on prokaryotic cells and some eukaryotic cells (mainly some rather active bacteria which use the flagella in some cases to 'swim' around the body )

    Microvilli are tiny protrusions on the villi of digestive system walls for instance, they increase the surface area to increase the efficiency of diffusion and such like

    Cilia is an organelle found in eukaryotic cells, they are sensory organelles which protrude out of sells (so a there are some similarities in that sense to Microvilli, but are much more flexible). They are found in the respiratory system, they catch dust and mucus in the lungs etc. Structurally they are the same as flagella, distinctions can only be made when you assess their length and function

    Hope this helps!
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    Hey,

    Also, i'm pretty sure the mark scheme allows "Flagella" as an answer for questions like "Name something found in Prokaryotic cells but not Eukaryotic cells"

    Anyone confirm this?

    To be safe, use Plasmid or Capsule or something I guess (but in one of my past papers it asked for 3 things!)
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    but can't flagella be found in eukaryotic cells also
    (Original post by KissMyArtichoke)
    cilia are found on ciliated epithelial cells, like in the lungs. They wave rhythmically to move dirt and mucus out.
    flagella are found on some bacteria and allow them to swim.
    microvilli are found in the small intestine, and increase the surface area for nutrient absorption.
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    (Original post by Jorgeyy)
    Hey,

    Also, i'm pretty sure the mark scheme allows "Flagella" as an answer for questions like "Name something found in Prokaryotic cells but not Eukaryotic cells"

    Anyone confirm this?

    To be safe, use Plasmid or Capsule or something I guess (but in one of my past papers it asked for 3 things!)
    I'd say flagella are bacteria only.

    Though I can't recall the tails on sperm?
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    I'm pretty sure at AS (OCR), you could often get away with labelling the tail thing as flagella on a eukaryotic cell, but it specified that it was actually undulipodium. In a prokaryotic cell the tail is the flagella.

    I learn't that structurally, cilia and undulipodia are the same in the sense that they're made up of microtubules arranged in a circle, but undulipodia are longer than cillia. Flagella are made of a spiral protein flagellin and have some sort of disc thing going on (so they look the same but their internal structure is differnt to undulipodium). Didn't really learn much about the structure of microvilli, and someone else has already given you all of the functional differences.

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Updated: January 8, 2011
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