The Inner Life of the Cell

Date:9 February 2011

The Inner Life of the Cell is a 3D computer graphics animation illustrating the molecular mechanisms that occur when a white blood cell in the blood vessels of the human body is activated by inflammation. 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. Absolutely fascinating!

How did this movie come about? A Harvard biology professor was looking for a way to spice up his course and attract more biology majors. His idea was to make a film showing what’s going on in everyone’s bodies right now. And that’s just what he did!

This award-winning piece was the first topic in a series of animations XVIVO is creating for Harvard’s educational Web site BioVisions at Harvard.

Credits:
* Animation conception and scientific content by Alain Viel and Robert A Lue
* Animation by John Liebler/David Bolinsky/Mike Astrachan /XVIVO

Sources:
* BioVisions at Harvard University
* Wikipedia

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