Using photographs from scanning electron microscopes as templates, animators have created a stunning video illustrating cell processes – like protein translation and white blood cell movements – at the molecular level. “The Inner Life of a Cell” was made as a teaching tool for undergraduate biology students, who have to memorize the names and functions of hundreds of different molecules without ever really seeing what they look like or how they move. Apparently using this video helps students retain up to three times more information than they do just with lectures and text.
If you’ve ever studied cell biology, you’ll appreciate how mega cool this is – I for one sure wish they’d had this when I had to memorize all the proteins and molecules involved in DNA transcription (… it’s not as exciting as it sounds). We had simple 2D animations of the processes with little coloured blobs – but this is something else.
If you haven’t studied cell biology, most of the terms they use will sound completely alien and meaningless – but that’s ok. I think all of us can appreciate this video – it’s a spectacular illustration of the inner workings of our own bodies.