In cell biology, an organelle ( /ɔrɡəˈnɛl/) is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function, and is usually separately enclosed within its own lipid bilayer.
The name organelle comes from the idea that these structures are to cells what an organ is to the body (hence the name organelle, the suffix -elle being a diminutive). Organelles are identified by microscopy, and can also be purified by cell fractionation. There are many types of organelles, particularly in eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotes were once thought not to have organelles, but some examples have now been identified.
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