jb What is a Nucleus?

The term “nucleus” is used in several different ways in the sciences, although all cases reference a critical structure found at the center of something. In fact, the word “nucleus” means “kernel” or “core,” and it comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning “nut.” As a general rule, the nucleus is so critical that the surrounding structure cannot survive without it.

In biology, the nucleus is a small structure located inside the cells of eukaryotic organisms. The cell nucleus is actually one of the defining characteristics of eukaryotes, as the structure allows cells and organisms to reach a very high level of complexity. This structure without the cell contains the organism's DNA, and the nucleus is responsible for regulating gene expression, duplicating DNA as needed, and passing on hereditary traits, in the case of egg and sperm cells.

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