As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end
I first came across this video taking a freshman biology class, when I was a junior (ahem). It was eight in the morning in Arntzen 100, a huge lecture hall, and as the lights dimmed I prepared for a quick daydreaming session during what was sure to be another of the boring videos that came with our textbook. Instead as the music came up and the colorful animation started pouring across the screen I found myself transfixed. This was going on inside every cell in my body? No wonder I was tired. Turn the sound on if you can, the music makes a difference in the inspirational effects.
“The Inner Life of a Cell” was made for Harvard University’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in an attempt to give students a clearer picture of the inner workings of a cell. The animation is of a white blood cell sensing and responding to its environment, and is, according to their website, scientifically accurate.
I couldn’t believe how mechanical the whole thing was. I mean these structures are physically moving things around just like we do. In one part a figure appears to be hauling a huge ball up a tightrope, or as they describe it in the narrated version “microtubules provide tracks along which membrane bound vesicles travel to and from the plasma membrane.” The complexity of these interactions is astounding, or as one of my psychology professors once said, “I’m not going to go into that here, just appreciate the fact that there is a lot going on in there.” Indeed.