Ribosomes Definition for Kids

Ribosomes Definition for Kids


There are many important parts of your body that help to make you big and strong, one of them is protein. Without protein you wouldn’t be able to build muscle, have healthy bones, and your hair would break apart easier than you could imagine. Ribosomes are some of the most important organelles in your body that are responsible for making proteins in a process known as synthesizing. They are very important and are necessary to have a healthy and happy body.

Building Amino Acid Chains

The best way to think of a ribosome is to think about a group of construction workers that are building a brand new bridge. The concrete on the bridge is amino acid and the metal used to connect the bridge is a ribosome. In order for the bridge to be as strong as it can be, you’re going to need both concrete (amino acid) and ribosomes (metal connectors). Your ribosomes will look for different amino acids in your system and connect them all together, creating a long chain of protein.

Finding Your Ribosomes

Unlike other types of cells that you have in your body, ribosomes are incredibly unique because you can find them in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Most other cells or structures that you find are found in eukaryotes and not prokaryotes, such as a nucleus. It’s important to remember that every single cell in your body needs the help of ribosomes because they all need proteins. This means that you will have ribosomes absolutely everywhere in your body. You will also find your ribosomes in the cytosol, because there isn’t any boundaries in prokaryotes that make the ribosomes float completely free.

The Different Types of Ribosomes

It’s very interesting to think about the different types of ribosomes that you have in your system. Although they may all be the same general cell, you can find them in dozens of unique places, first with the cytosol, as we discussed earlier. By floating around, these ribosomes help to make different proteins that will be used inside of the cells. You can also find them in the endoplasmic reticulum, especially the rough ER. When you take a look at these unique structures under a microscope, you’ll notice that it looks very bumpy. When attached to the rough ER, the ribosomes will make different proteins that are used both inside and outside of the cell. You’ll also be able to find them in your nuclear envelope. The main job of these ribosomes is to make proteins that will be sent into perinuclear space.

The Subunits of Ribosomes

Over the years, scientists have made an interesting discovery that helped them understand the 2 different parts that are found in every ribosome, known as the subunits. When you take a look at eukaryotes there will be 60-S (large) ribosomes and 40-S (small) ribosomes. Depending on the species that you’re looking at, the structures of the organelles will be different but they all have the same general functions.

For example, the ribosomes you find in eukaryotes are 60-S/40-S (60 large and 40 small) but in prokaryotic cells you’ll find 50-S/30-S (50 large and 30 small). Even though they have structural differences and the amounts will be different, they all help to synthesize protein inside of your body. By using this method, scientists have been able to develop different types of medicine that kill microorganisms that attack the prokaryotic cells and cause different illnesses and diseases.

When Are Ribosomes Used?

All of the organelles in your body have a purpose and are used in different ways. With ribosomes, your body will need them when it’s time to make a protein. This is when mRNA is made and it will be sent to your nucleus and to all of your ribosomes. When protein-making time has arrived, the 2 subunits of the ribosome will come together and make a unique mixture with the mRNA. All together they work to begin the protein synthesis.

Making Protein

Even though it is one of the most important components in your body, making protein is one of the simplest tasks that your body has. The main ingredient that you need is amino acid but you will also need transfer RNA, which is another type of nucleic acid that lives inside of cells. All of the amino acids that you have floating around your cells will bond with the tRNA and use the mRNA to follow instructions for connecting to the ribosomes. After the building process is finished, your body will send the tRNA back into the cell and it will then attach to another amino acid. After creating the protein, it attaches itself to a ribosome and these ribosomes begin creating the chains that we discussed earlier. Each individual chain will eventually be a part of a big protein that your body needs.