Cells have particular structures that underlie their functions.
Inside the cell is a concentrated mixture of thousands of different molecules which form a variety of specialized structures that carry out such cell functions as energy production, transport of molecules, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and the storage of genetic material. [See Unifying Concepts and Processes]
Cells store and use information to guide their functions.
The genetic information stored in DNA is used to direct the synthesis of the thousands of proteins that each cell requires.
Cell functions are regulated. Regulation occurs both through changes in the activity of the functions performed by proteins and through the selective expression of individual genes. This regulation allows cells to respond to their environment and to control and coordinate cell growth and division.
Cells can differentiate, and complex multicellular organisms are formed as a highly organized arrangement of differentiated cells.