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Genetics
Cell Biology (cytology)
Cell or Plasma Membranes

What is the most important substance that passes through the cell membrane?

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May 11, 2009 7:16PM

Green plant, fungus / mold, or mammal animal cells? Most cells need an inflow of nutrients and fuel sources of energy, and produce outflows of waste products and excess energy. Specialized cells consume and produce their own special things. Generally mammal cell energy is the pumped production of ions that flow to balance each other. This charge flow includes a path through the cell membrane. Scientists have found that various proteins assist in providing this ion transport. The fundamental ions in water solution are H+ and OH-, but most metal ions (such as lithium, sodium, potassium, calcium, etc) are positive because they easily give up their electrons, on the other hand, halide group elements (chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine) form negative ions due to their tendencies to grab outer orbital shell electrons from other molecules / elements. The cell membrane maintains internal cell structure and maintains a selective permeability to those things required. Evolution, it could be argued, had important purposes for every activity carried out by a cell component including the cell membrane without which death would eventually occur. Through this argument it could be said that all inputs and outputs traveling through the cell membrane are equally important otherwise death would eventually result.