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Filmography - Biology: The Cell

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011

Filmography - Biology: The Cell

Titles available on streaming video as of April 2011. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Over 800 videos on biology subjects (too numerous to list here) are available streaming through Films On Demand:

To navigate directly to this from the Films On Demand homepage, go to View By Subject – Science and Mathematics - Biology

Films-On-Demand titles are password-protected and will require a login for students and faculty who wish to access them from off-campus.



The Cell. 1994. 1 streaming video file (14 min.). This program explains the structure and function of the cell-the basic unit of life-and how it is studied using the compound and electron microscopes. An expert on the electron microscope is interviewed. Streaming video.

The Cell and Energy. 1988. 1 streaming video file (10 min.). The cell's energy molecule, glucose, is examined, and the process of extracting energy from glucose and transferring it to ATP in specific organelles called mitochondria is discussed. The structure, function, and evolution of these organelles are illustrated in relation to their role in cellular respiration. Streaming video.

Cell Division. 1995. 1 streaming video file (14 min.). The stages of normal cell division and its function are presented in this program, as well as the causes and harmful effects of abnormal cell division. Streaming video.

Cell Duplication Growth and Change. 1984. 1 streaming video file (28 min.). This program uses the fascinating setting of a circus to provide the analogy for growth. A magician creating the illusion of multiplying balls introduces micro-photography showing how cells divide and multiply. The program shows how bones are continually being built and destroyed and, in a spectacular sequence of time-lapse photography, actually captures a tooth growing-from the moment it first peeps out of the gum until it falls out. Streaming video.

Cell Functions A Closer Look. 1997. 1 streaming video file (20 min.). This program examines three main activities of the cell: energy storage and release, protein synthesis, and cell reproduction. Students take a closer look at important organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, and the roles they play in cell metabolism. Also examined are proteins, amino acids, ribosomes, DNA, RNA, genes, chromosomes, transcription, and translation. Mitosis is clearly defined and illustrated. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. A Cambridge Educational Production. Streaming video.

Cell Wars. 1 streaming video file (22 min.). Biotechnology combines man and mouse to track and attack man's most feared diseases, using cells to kill killer cells. Exceptional computer animation demonstrates how the body's immune system works. The program explains the role of antibodies in vaccinations and allergies, and shows the uses of monoclonal antibodies in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of different types of tumors, as well as the immune system deficiency syndrome AIDS. Streaming video.

Cells An Introduction. 1997. 1 streaming video file (25 min.). In this virtual journey through the cell, viewers become familiar with cells and their properties. The program describes and shows examples of cells of many shapes and sizes, and explores the structure and functions of different types of cells. Eukaryotes and prokaryotes are defined, and plant and animal cells are compared. Emphasizing cells as the basic building blocks of all organisms, another segment describes the organization of cells and the formation of tissues, organs, and systems. The program concludes with an overview of the organelles and their functions. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. A Cambridge Educational Production. Streaming video.

Cells, Cities, and Cellular Signaling An Urban Analogy. 2002. 1 streaming video file (31 min.). How is type 2 diabetes like a mile of bad road? And what does scaffolding have in common with a tadpole's tail? This innovative program combines hard science with urban analogies and high-tech imaging to illustrate how cells interact via the signals they send. Information on cell division, cell differentiation, and programmed cell death provides a springboard for MIT's Robert Horvitz and other experts to talk about the mechanics of type 2 diabetes, the ethics of culturing skin for grafting using embryonic stem cells, cellular damage by free radicals that accelerates aging, and cancer-causing aberrations in the cellular signaling system. Produced by the Open University. Streaming video.

Cells The Building Blocks of Life. 2005. 1 streaming video file (16 min.). This video takes a close-up look at the lowest common denominator of all life: the cell. It illustrates essential cellular processes-transportation of materials, communication, energy transfer, protein-building, waste disposal, movement, and the all-important mitosis and meiosis-as well as key cellular landmarks like the nucleus, ribosomes, mitochondria, the Golgi complex, the endoplasmic reticulum, and lysosomes. Special attention is given to recent advances in biotechnology. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Correlates to National Academy of Sciences National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks for Science Literacy. A Cambridge Educational Production. Streaming video.

Cells, Tissues, and Skin. 2009. 1 streaming video file (23 min.). After an introductory segment on cell characteristics, this program discusses the way human body cells function and combine into the structures that sustain life. Topics include membrane permeability and the processes of passive and active transport; cytoplasm, with its cytosol, organelles, and inclusions; the constituent parts of the nucleus and the stages and processes of the cell cycle; the four basic tissue types; and the skin, the body's largest organ. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. A part of the series The Human Body: How It Works. Streaming video.

The Chemistry of Life Milestones in Genetics . 2009. 1 streaming video file (52 min.). Cells are, in a sense, just tiny bags of chemicals-so what instructsthem to divide and function? This program shows how biologists addressed the question during the 19th and 20th centuries. Starting with Friedrich Miescher's discovery of nuclein, or DNA, the film examines Theodor Boveri's work with sea urchins, which clarified the role of chromosomes, as well as Thomas Hunt Morgan's study of inheritance in fruit flies and his introduction of the term gene. The contributions of Frederick Griffith, Maurice Wilkins, and the under-recognized Rosalind Franklin are held up as milestones on the path to the Watson-Crick double-helix model. Walter Gehring's mutation studies are also featured. Original BBC broadcast title: The Chemistry of Life. A part of the series The Cell. Streaming video.

Creation The Promise of Stem Cells. 2002. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). Pioneering methods of human cloning give a paralyzed Texas doctor hope that he will walk again. Meanwhile in England, a couple prepares for the results of cloning the natural way: triplets. In this program, outstanding imagery gives a futuristic, highly visual portrayal of advances in stem cell development and genetic science. The efforts of Dr. Jose Cibelli, head of research at Advanced Cell Technology, which led to the first artificially cloned embryo, are paralleled with the incredible feat of genetic replication as it occurs naturally in the womb. Commenting on how these innovations have already dramatically changed human life are Professor Lee Silver, molecular biologist at Princeton University, and Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist Sir Paul Nurse. A BBC Production. Streaming video.

Culture of Human Fibroblasts. 1996. 1 streaming video file (20 min.). This in-depth program shows how fibroblasts from the skin are isolated by using enzymes and then cultured in a nutrient medium. Detailed explanations of how cells can be re-seeded, counted, and cryopreserved for storage in liquid nitrogen for long periods of time are demonstrated. The importance of careful aseptic techniques and the use of sterile equipment is discussed. Streaming video.

Fetal Fix Stem Cell Research and Moral Conflict. 2005. 1 streaming video file (53 min.). In the expanding world of biotechnology, cells taken from aborted fetuses are seen as a promising resource for developing a variety of medical cures-although their use has sparked intense controversy. This program examines stem cell and fetal tissue research programs in the United States, Japan, and China and highlights the ethical concerns that surround these projects. Explaining why stem cells cultivated from embryonic or fetal tissue are useful for transplant work and for developing treatments for Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, and other medical problems, the program explores a new dimension in the battle over the sanctity-and value-of human life. Streaming video.

Fix Me Unlocking the Possibilities of Stem Cell Research. 2009. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). This program follows three people with currently untreatable conditions as they explore the possibility of cures via stem cells. Paralyzed from the waist down, Sophie Morgan, 24, pursues spinal injection of nerve cells cultured from human embryonic stem cells. Dean Third, 38-a patient with the potentially fatal inherited condition dilated cardiomyopathy-observes research on the injection of regenerative stem cells into the heart wall and efforts to create a prototype replacement heart involving the extracellular matrix of a rat heart reseeded with rat stem cells. And amputee Anthony Bath, 30, looks to stem cell innovations in the areas of bone and skin regrowth with the hope that such technology could soon become the basis for a new leg. A BBC Production. Streaming video.

Glycolysis 1. 1988. 1 streaming video file (10 min.). This program begins with the discovery of the energy role played by the cell cytosol, the starting point of cellular respiration. Computer animation is used to follow the sequential breakdown of glucose through the process of glycolysis that leads to the production of ATP molecules. Streaming video.

The Hidden Kingdom Early Discoveries in Cell Science. 2009. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). It was a businessman, not a trained scientist, who first gained entry to the cryptic world of cells. This program relates the early history of microbiology and genetics, beginning with the story of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a 17th-century Dutch textile merchant with a talent for making microscopes. Moving from van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of animalculesto Robert Hooke's cork studies and coinage of the term cell, the film then focuses on Joseph Jackson Lister's multi-lens microscope technology, Robert Brown's identification of cell nuclei, and the collaboration of Theodor Schwann and Matthias Schleiden. Robert Remak's groundbreaking findings about cell division form the climax of the episode. Original BBC broadcast title: The Hidden Kingdom. A part of the series The Cell. Streaming video.

Inside Cells Cells and Their Organelles. 2002. 1 streaming video file (28 min.). Take your biology students on a tour of an unusual art museum-the Cell Gallery.Using electron microscope images and entertaining graphics, this program walks viewers through the basic components of a cell. The tour looks in detail at the structure and function of cellular organelles, including cell membranes, nuclei, mitochondria, chloroplasts, smooth and rough endoplasmic reticula, ribosomes, lysosomes, vacuoles, cytoplasm, cytosol and cytoskeleton, microtubules and microfilaments, and the Golgi complex. The program also covers the importance of internal cellular membranes and compares the relative sizes of the different organelles. Streaming video.

Keeping It Together Cell Membranes. 2002. 1 streaming video file (33 min.). With all the activities inside and outside the cell, how does the cell membrane hold it all together? This program closely examines the structure and function of cell membranes, including compartmentalization, intercellular interaction, regulation of the movement of materials, and as a location for biochemical activities. Using a combination of narration, film footage, and engaging graphics, the program covers the various ways in which materials can cross the cell membrane, such as diffusion, active and passive transport, osmosis, and endo- and exocytosis. The effects of osmosis-plasmolysis and turgor in plants-are also presented. Streaming video.

The Krebs Cycle. 1988. 1 streaming video file (10 min.). The chemical process known as the Krebs cycle is examined in detail. The cyclical metabolism of pyruvate and the subsequent generation of NADH inside the cell mitochondrion are illustrated in three-dimensional computer animation. Streaming video.

Microscopes and Mutants. 2003. 1 streaming video file (30 min.). As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, genetics came into its own as a science. This intro-level program shows how the development of the microscope pushed genetic studies forward, and includes in-depth discussion of early cell theory, particularly the first observations of meiosis and mitosis. Exploring Thomas Morgan Hunt's findings involving Drosophila mutation, the program covers sex-linked inheritance, the discovery of the X and Y chromosomes in the early 1900s, chromosomal roles in the transmission of genetic material, the importance of gene-mapping, and ways in which the science of genetics has been co-opted, particularly in the dead-end study of eugenics. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Streaming video.

Miracle Cell. 2004. 1 streaming video file (57 min.). With unprecedented and exclusive access to current clinical trials, this program appraises the successes and future potential of regenerative medicine. One featured patient is Joy Veron-paralyzed while trying to save her children from a car accident-who has stem cells from her nose transplanted into her back. The film also follows a heart attack victim who has his own bone marrow stem cells injected into his heart. Do these landmark treatments represent the start of a great revolution in medical technology? Carlos Lima, of the Egas Moniz Hospital in Lisbon, and the University of Frankfurt's Andreas Zeiher are featured. Streaming video.

Monoclonal Antibodies. 1997. 1 streaming video file (25 min.). Using computer graphics, this program illustrates the difference between monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. It describes how lymphocytes in the bloodstream respond to the appearance of an antigen by producing antibodies to it. Problems with antibodies from the blood are discussed along with Milstein's solution. A step-by-step procedure to obtain stable hybridomas, a hybrid cell produced by the fusion of an antibody-producing lymphocyte with a tumor cell, through the isolation of lymphocytes from the spleen is demonstrated. Streaming video.

Our Immune System. 1989. 1 streaming video file (23 min.). A veritable army of cells is constantly on the alert in our bodies. Its mission is to destroy any foreign cells, viruses, or bacteria that attack the fortress they are protecting, the human body. This program uses stunning imagery to describe the battles our immune system wages inside our bodies, showing how it sets up defenses against viral invasion. It explains how, by means of vaccination, we can use the functions of the immune system to prevent disease. The program also shows how, in the case of organ transplants, the immune system must be suppressed, and shows how the anti-rejection drug, Cyclosporine, works. Streaming video.

Proteins. 1994. 1 streaming video file (37 min.). Proteins, the essential biochemical foundation of the cell, fulfill a variety of tasks within the human body. This program provides insights into their structure and several of their functions, including their role in catalytic biochemical reaction and reproduction. How proteins recognize the packagingof smaller molecules is explored. Using a photosynthetic protein-a proton pump-as an example, excellent computer simulation shows the proteins at work, moving an atom through the system. Streaming video.

Rebuilding the Brain Adult Brain Stem Cells. 2002. 1 streaming video file (21 min.). The ethical debate over embryonic stem cell use may have been rendered moot by pioneering research being conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia, where Dr. Perry Bartlett and his team have isolated stem cells within the human brain. In this program, Dr. Bartlett discusses in detail the different types of stem cells, what research is being done with them, and how their use will have a future benefit in rebuilding neural tissue and restoring brain function in people with impact injuries, strokes, tumors, or brain disease. The program makes a good primer for understanding these promising but controversial cells. Streaming video.

Stem Cells The Ethical Issues. 2006. 1 streaming video file (20 min.). Providing a balanced look at a highly contentious issue, this program takes viewers inside the scientific, religious, and philosophical debate over embryonic stem cell research. Divergent opinions and perspectives are presented by respected researchers, thinkers, and stakeholders-including renowned Australian geneticist Dr. Alan Trounson; Father Norman Ford, a prominent ethics commentator and opponent of embryonic stem cell research; and patients with life-threatening medical conditions that stem cell innovations could potentially treat or cure. Each speaker identifies core principles and calmly articulates the reasons for his or her views. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. Streaming video.

Voyage Inside the Cell. 1999. 1 streaming video file (15 min.). Within each human cell lies a world of complexity, populated by an amazing array of messenger molecules, miniature structures, and biochemical micro-machines. Composed entirely of 3-D computer animation, this spectacular program follows a hormone on its journey through inner space, where it penetrates a cell's membrane, reaches the nucleus, and induces mitosis. Cell components such as proteins, enzymes, the endoplasmic reticulum, and cytoplasm are all identified, while a memorable depiction of cell division deftly captures the awesome yet alien nature of cellular reproduction. Streaming video.

Weighing the Decision The Ethics and Science of Stem Cell Research. 2001. 1 streaming video file (28 min.). On August 9, 2001, President George W. Bush announced his support for federal funding of limited embryonic stem cell research. This NewsHour program offers a revealing snapshot of that historic intersection between science and public policy. It features a panel of ethicists and researchers expressing their views on the President's decisions-including University of Chicago professor Leon Kass, who soon became chair of the President's Council on Bioethics; Dr. Dianne Krause, a stem cell researcher and Yale School of Medicine professor; Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin professor of law and bioethics; and Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Streaming video.