See how the structures of organs and cells are directly related to their specialist functions.
We have developed a series of clips to explore the Life Fantastic with your students. The pages are intended for use as a prompt to help you prepare when exploring these topics in lessons. Teachers have told us that the videos and questions best suit being used as a topic introduction.
On this page you will find an overview of the topic covered by the clips, a brief summary of each clip, related questions and how the topic links to the curriculum. This is one of eight available resources on developmental biology. For more topics see the teaching resources list.
The material in this resource is supported by video clips from the CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2013.
This resource is suitable for Key Stages 3 and 4 and AS/A2 level. Full curriculum links are given at the bottom of the page.
In this clip from the CHRISTMAS LECTURE Where do I come from?, Alison Woollard displays a selection of real organs. Alison shows how these organs are complex and that their structure relates directly to their function – hearts are muscular and beat many times throughout life, lungs contain a very large area to absorb oxygen and brains are highly folded...
Running Time: 3 min 44 secs
The cells that form the organs are complex and specialised themselves; neurons are long and spindly and reach out to make many connections, cilia have microscopic hairs on their surface that move in time to sweep dirt out of our lungs and heart muscle cells beat together to create the strong beats of the full heart. Alison and her guest, Beata, discuss how stem cells were used to create these cardiomyocytes and how that technique could be used in medicine in the future. Meanwhile ‘Embryo cam’ shows an embryo developing in real time in the theatre – a cell divides during the interview.
Total Running Time: 5 min 11 secs
Cardiomyocytes: begin at 2:05
Conforming to ‘Structure and function of living organisms: Cells and organisation’, this resource expands on the concept of cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms by showing that cells are different in different organs. The clips look in detail at the specialisms of three cells, discussing this in the context of the organisation of multicellular organisms: from cells to organs.
The clips give three examples of the specialised function of cells (neurons, cilia, cardiomyocytes) and the organs (brain, lungs, heart) in which they are found and are all described within the concept of hierarchical organisation. This ties in to:
The generation of specialised cells from stem cells is presented towards the end of the clip and provides an example of the use of stem cells for:
The clips give three examples of the specialised function of cells (neurons, cilia, cardiomyocytes) and the organs (brain, lungs, heart) in which they are found. The resource gives a framework to consider the organisation of cells into organs and for an illustration of cellular structure for:
The clips also provide a backdrop for a discussion on uses of stem cells for:
View the full CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Life Fantastic, along with behind the scenes footage, and related content, at the Ri Channel (www.richannel.org).