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Explore the structure and function of the living cell. All living things, from simple pond dwelling creatures, like these, to complex animals and plants are made from the same building blocks called cells. Cells are defined as the simplest structures that can carry out all of the activities characteristic of life. That is, can reproduce, grow and develop, respond to their surroundings, and so on. Cells are like miniature factories which use raw materials and energy to create their amazing product which is none other than life itself. Large organisms are multicellular and are made from many different cells. The cells of multicellular organisms have become specialized to perform all sorts of tasks such as those carried out by muscles and blood. In contrast, many of the smallest organisms, such as the Protist paramecia, are unicellular and possess just one cell.