Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nano Visualization / Micro reality - Life Inside a Cell



Here is a video made by Harvard University students showing how things happen inside a cell. With amazing graphics, it enables the visualization of life at its most microscopic dimension. With some simplification, the non-specialized person can comprehend the information on his way to appreciating the beauty of Biology, moreover he can put his feet on the way of understanding health and disease.

Watch it more than once and do not be involved in complex phenomena, just pay close attention to the cytoskeleton as a good deal of the cell
activities are directed to maintain it. It plays a great role in health and disease.

These are explanations of some scientific terms included in the video:

# Red Blood Cells: the segment of blood that carries Hemoglobin with all its functions.

# Leucocytes : White blood cells that represent the army of the body against any foreign invasion.

# Endothelial cells: are the cells lining the blood vessels.

# Extracellular matrix: is the surrounding medium of all cells in a certain tissue, it composed mainly of water.

# Plasma membranes: The membranes of all cells. They are composed of Phospholipids( Phosphatidyl Choline), lipids ( Sphyngolipids),and Cholesterol. They embed several proteins.

# Cytosol : The medium inside the cell, composed mainly of water.

# Cyto-skeleton : is a protein network that entraps organelles of the cell. It is responsible for the spacial configuration of the cell and its components. It plays a crucial role in some serious diseases, most importantly, Cancer.

# Glyco-proteins: Glycosilated proteins,i.e. a protein having attached
sugar moieties. They play a major role in cell-cell communications. You can read more about them

# G-protein: is a protein that is located beneath cell membrane and is responsible for transforming signals coming to the cells into a metabolic response. This response is caused by conformational changes of cell proteins.

# Actin: a protein together with Tubulin form the building material of
microfilaments and microtubules which represent the building units of the cytoskeleton.

# Monomer : a single molecule.

# Mitochondria: Energy house of cell which produce energy through coupling the extracted hydrogens from metabolites to inhaled Oxygen.

# Ribosomes: factory of proteins inside the cell. It is operated through orders coming via mRNA.

# mRNA: a printed DNA script that is sent from nucleus to cytoplasm
to synthesize proteins.

# Endoplasmic reticulum: is a network that accumulate proteins formed
in ribosomes and packs them after finished their processing.

# Golgi apparatus: is a system that complete glycosilation of proteins.

# Nuclear envelope: membranes surrounding the nucleus and separate it from cytoplasm.

# Micro villi : protrusions on the surface of a cell.

# Leukocyte extravasation: migration of white blood cells from the interior of a blood vessel to an inflammed area.

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