Cells: The Building Blocks of Life
All living things from bacteria to
plants and animals are made up of the same basic microscopic
building blocks, called cells. Although there are
different types of cells for different specific functions, they
have many features in common. This video uses microscope imaging
and 3-D animation techniques to illustrate the cellular processes
associated with being alive: eating, drinking, breathing and
Many of the basic structures of cells are
introduced: the cell membrane, the cytoplasm and the nucleus,
noting the cell wall unique to plant cells and the absence of
a nucleus in prokaryotic cells. The program looks at plants
where the basic life processes are organized at a cellular level,
and contrasts them with animals where comparable functions are
performed by organs, which are much larger assemblages of cells.
The two key processes osmosis and diffusion
whereby the cell regulates the passage of substances across
its outer membrane are discussed, together with the production
of energy from glucose and oxygen through respiration. The video
also looks at mitosis the process of cell growth and division.
20 minutes. © 2001. Grades 7-12.