• Question: Which is the smallest cell in your body?

    Asked by 08kcheung to Cat, Daz, Holly, Johnson, Pamela on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Pamela Lithgow

      Pamela Lithgow answered on 16 Jun 2011:


      Hi 08kcheung,
      I have to say that is a great question! Because cells are not always the same there are a few contenders for the smallest cell and here they are…..
      Sperm – this one is really tiny 0.003mm but it does have a big tail
      The brain cells reponsible for smell – different places have different sizes for this one so from 0.004-0.01mm
      And finally
      The red blood cell – this is 0.004-0.008mm, but it does not have a nucleas which is the bit in your cells which contain your genes so in some ways is not a complete cell!
      So there you go they are the contenders and you can pick your favourite!
      I think I vote for the sperm because they are really cool and although they are a human cell they can swim on their own!
      Hope this helps
      Pam
      🙂

    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 17 Jun 2011:


      Hi 08kcheung,

      I think I’d vote sperm too. They are pretty awesome cells if you think about it and we do owe then an awful lot 😀

      Can I be sneaky and perhaps say a virus? These can be much much smaller than cells and while they are not ‘human cells’, they do live in the human body!!

      Cat

    • Photo: Darren Braddick

      Darren Braddick answered on 21 Jun 2011:


      Hi 08kcheung!

      Yes, I agree with Pam and Cat, it is probably the sperm cell. The difference of course between that cell and the others is that it is super motile – which means it can move very easily, and swim.

      I’m going to be cheeky here and tell you that we also had a question about the largest cell in the body (the link is below).. Can you believe what it is? The human egg cell.

      Maybe its the pink and blue colour scheme of this website, but it seems quite ironic in some ways that the smallest and biggest cells of the body both ‘unite’ to make human life!

      I hope that helps answer your question!

      Daz

      (the link as promised: https://microbiologyj11.imascientist.org.uk/2011/06/what-is-the-largest-cell-in-your-body#comments)

    • Photo: Johnson Soronnadi

      Johnson Soronnadi answered on 21 Jun 2011:


      Hi 08kcheung,

      I earlier had same notion with everybody that the sperm cell is typically known to be the smallest cell in the human body.
      But, after much search, I discovered that the smallest cell is not the human sperm. The human sperm including flagellum (tail) is approximately 25um. The head of the sperm is on average 5um-6um. The Granule Cell of the Cerebellum (little brain) is typically 4um – 4.5um thus making it smaller than the human sperm.

      Guys, Hope my answer will not put your mind off the great sperm cell, because the human egg seems to be the largest cell and I strongly believe both will make a good combination rather than the cerebellum.

      Hope this helps?

      Johnson.

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