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The Inner Life of the Cell
"The Inner Life of the Cell," an eight-minute animation with narration, combines a range of current scientific models with visually engaging, intricate images to create a feel for the molecular workings and complex interactions of a cell. The award-winning animation from Harvard University represents a key selection of molecular events that allow a white blood cell to sense its surroundings and respond to an external stimulus. It animates the process of leukocyte extravasation, the movement of leukocytes, white blood cells that defend the body against disease, toward the site of tissue damage or infection, while touring major parts of the cell. The animation can be viewed at either slow, high, or super speed. It is part of a larger Harvard University project, BioVisions, which combines multimedia with rigorous scientific models of how biological processes occur—in an effort to transform the study of molecular and cellular biology. BioVisions is a collaboration of Harvard scientists, teaching faculty, students and multimedia professionals.
Program Director: Robert A. Lue Ph.D.
Award Years: 1992, 1994, 2002, 2006
Summary: Harvard University is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- Curricular innovations that support the university’s review of the entire undergraduate curriculum;
- The Life Science-HHMI Outreach Program, a lecture and laboratory series on current biology topics that is designed to enhance the professional lives of high school biology teachers in a three-state area; and
- The ongoing development of BioVisions, a multimedia project that uses animations, such as the award-winning “The Inner Life of the Cell” animation, and videos to present biological processes and techniques in scientifically accurate but engaging ways.