inner life of the cell

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Introducing my favourite protein: Kinesin! It’s so cute and I really want it as a plushie.

Kinesin is the little orange-y thing that looks like two big feet, walking over a microtubule. The big blue ball it carries is a vesicle full of large molecules that were produced in the center of the cell. Kinesin is a motor protein that carries this vesicle to where the molecules are needed in the cell, e.g. at the membrane. Kinesin’s partner in crime is Dynein that walks the microtubules towards the center of the cell. Especially Kinesin is thought to play an important role in mitosis, meiosis, axonal transport and more.

This gif was made from the brilliant animation made by BioVisions for Harvard University. ‘The Inner Life of the Cell’ is amazing and I think everybody should have seen it at least once in their life to get a better idea how much of a miracle life really is.

Everything about you is ‘alive’ with a vibrational frequency. Every thought, every emotion, every cell, every organ… everything that makes up ‘you’ is basically different vibrations clustered together. The chakras are the energy centers through which energy moves. When the chakras are open, everything is in balance and harmony.

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The Inner Life of the Cell by Harvard University (8 minutes)

This animation of what actually goes on in every cell in your body will blow your mind. The narration is aimed at graduate level biology students so for us laypeople it sounds like he is speaking latin or something. That’s okay though. It is the animation of how all this stuff is going on which is mind blowing. The cell is not some amorphous bag chemicals. It is a complex factory floor with machines whizzing around doing various tasks. All of this in a single cell and you have thirty-seven TRILLION cells. It is rather amazing at the degree of complex purposeful action which is required to give us life much less consciousness.

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Inner Life of a Cell | Protein Packing (NT TImes)

Two years ago, BioVisions and Xvivo set out to upgrade their animations by capturing some of the messy complexity of protein movements. They wanted to cram a virtual cell with proteins at a more realistic density, and then have them jitter and collide

In this movie, we enter a neuron by diving through a channel on its surface. Once inside, we’re instantly surrounded by a swarm of molecules. We push through the crowd until we reach a proteasome, a barrel-shaped molecule that shreds damaged proteins so their components can be used to make new proteins.

Once more we see a vesicle being hauled by kinesin. But in this version, the kinesin doesn’t look like a molecule out for a stroll. Its movements are barely constrained randomness.

Every now and then, a tiny molecule loaded with fuel binds to one of the kinesin “feet.” It delivers a jolt of energy, causing that foot to leap off the molecular cable and flail wildly, pulling hard on the foot that’s still anchored. Eventually, the gyrating foot stumbles into contact again with the cable, locking on once more — and advancing the vesicle a tiny step forward.

This updated movie offers a better way to picture our most intricate inner workings. For one thing, it helps us to understand why we become sick. A number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are caused when defective proteins clamp onto other proteins, creating toxic clumps.

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The Inner Life of the Cell.

This is a old but loved video illustrating the molecular mechanisms that occur when a white blood cell in the blood vessels of the human body is activated by inflammation (Leukocyte extravasation). It shows how a white blood cell rolls along the inner surface of the capillary, flattens out, and squeezes through the cells of the capillary wall to the site of inflammation where it contributes to the immune reaction.

It is just an amazing animation that explains well how complex but perfect is our organism, how many tasks a cell has to perform in few seconds. You can just watch and be astonished.

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The Inner Life of the Cell.

This video absolutely fascinates me as a biology student. I think it was this video that really made me realise how beautifully complex and sophisticated our bodies and individual cells are. To think all of this is chemicals, reacting in a certain manner to carry on their co-existence… 

And all by chance, it’s just an amazingly beautiful concept and makes the idea of complex multi-cellular life all the more mystifying.