Cells Teaming Up

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In a multicellular organism, the cells all help each other out in a cooperative community. But how? If you pick two cells in your body at random (say, a muscle cell in your shoulder and an epithelial cell in the lining of your stomach), it might be hard to see an obvious connection between them. It’s easier to see how the cells in your body help each other if you look at the steps of the hierarchy through which they cooperate: cell, tissue, organ, system, organism.

This video (in production) will demonstrate how organisms are made up of organ systems such as the cardiovascular system, and these are in turn made up of organs like the heart, and organs are made up of tissues which are made up of cells.

Most plants and animals are multicellular organisms, including us! The trillions of cells in a human body work together in a cooperative whole. They cooperate successfully by being organized into tissues, which are organized into organs, which are organized into organ systems that support each other.

The whole organism can be seen as a system of organ systems. Each organ system takes care of some broad part of what an organism has to do to stay alive. (Brief description of the function and parts of each system—maybe just choose a few, then say “and so on.”)

The video will take a close look at the cardiovascular system and how it works with the body’s other organ systems, then drill down to show how cells make up the tissues that make up the heart which, along with the blood vessels and blood, form the cardiovascular system.

Through this complex hierarchy of systems within systems, about 200 kinds of cells in the human body—trillions of cells in all—contribute to the well being of the whole. They exchange goods and services, in a vast, decentralized, cooperative community of specialists.


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This Science Generation unit is currently in development. If you have comments or corrections, SERP would love to hear from you! Thank you.