Karp tells us that the seventh basic property of cells is that:
Cells, like the organisms they make up, respond to environmental stimuli. Some of the ways in which certain types of cells do this are obvious: single-celled protists may move away from objects in their path, or move toward sources of nutrients. Some cells, such as those within multicellular plants and animals, might not have such obvious responses to environmental stimuli. Receptors cover most cells, and receptors interact with substances in the environment (environmental stimuli) in highly specific ways. Receptors on cells are involved in a number of different pathways, being that cells can possess receptors to hormones, growth factors, extracellular materials, and even to substances existing on the surfaces of other cells. Receptors provide pathways through which external stimuli are able to evoke a particular response in target cells. In response to specific stimuli, cells may alter their metabolic activities by moving from one place to another, or even commit suicide (which you may have learned about in other biology courses, termed apoptosis) (Karp 2013).
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