Friday, April 18, 2014

Animation - How You Get Sick From Viruses


This is a fun animated video from TED-Ed that almost everybody could find useful at some point in their life. Now, whether this is at that point for you we cannot know. However, this kind of elementary biology will come in handy for high school students everywhere.

Videos like this were not available 20 years ago. They are a new teaching tool and extremely useful in terms of learning what is going on. Rather than simply memorizing terms and then (hopefully) later putting them all together, you can see graphically what each part of the process does in a colorful and easily remembered fashion.

The video follows the path of a virus from the outside world and its path through your body. While the animation is very simple, the narration is not. A rush of figures and terms is spouted out in a rapid-fire fashion which, if you really want to learn everything, is going to cause you to hit the replay button a few times.

The system is complicated, with a lot of terms. Simply seeing them in a textbook may not "click" with some students. If you studied this in school or you are in school, you will recognize these terms. However, to be literate about them (and pass your tests), you will need to know what they all do.

This video helps with that. It shows in simple animation what each of these terms do. The parts of an animal cell also are distinguished along the way from a plant cell, with its solid membrane. The video uses the metaphor of an attack on a castle to distinguish the different parts of the cell's defense mechanism, with entry via a Trojan Horse metaphor and so on.

Basic biology terms covered include:

Cold virus
Airway lining
Cell membrane
semi-permeable membrane
membrane-bound proteins
Cell walls
Antibody (produced by B-Cells or B lymphocytes)
antigen (recognized by B Cells)
mRNA (Messenger RNA)
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Amino Acids
Golgi Apparatus
Carbon Dioxide

This is a great video and well worth watching even if you are just casually interested in the process.


From the Ted-Ed video page:
All living things are made of cells. In the human body, these highly efficient units are protected by layer upon layer of defense against icky invaders like the cold virus. Shannon Stiles takes a journey into the cell, introducing the microscopic arsenal of weapons and warriors that play a role in the battle for your health.
Lesson by Shannon Stiles, animation by Igor Coric.


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