The understanding of cell structure and function, the cell theory, is a unifying concept in biology. All living organisms have similarities as well as differences in relation to cell structure, cell biochemistry and cell function. A level students need to extend their knowledge and understanding of cell structure and function from Key Stage Four studies and be able to apply this understanding to a range of biological processes. The similarities and differences in the structure and ultra structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells being key to developing understanding of a range of biological functions.
Students should be provided with a variety of practical opportunities to develop microscopy skills to support their understanding of cell structure. This should include an appreciation of using both magnification and resolution and also how differential staining helps to view different cell structures. Students should be provided with opportunities to use an eye piece graticule and stage micrometer and should be familiar with cellular images produced from different microscopes.
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