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Defining Life


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Cell Membrane


All cells have cell membranes. The cell membrane is the outside layer that separates the cell from the outside. In cells that have a cell wall the cell membrane is the second layer.


The cell membrane controls what materials come into and out of a cell. Everything the cell needs comes into the cell through the cell membrane. The cell membrane lets in food, oxygen, water, and other nutrients into the cell. The cell's waste leaves the cell through the cell membrane. The cell membrane also prevents harmful materials from entering the cell.