Runner’s High

Description:  The "runner's high" is a feeling of euphoria that occurs during and after strenuous exercise. Research has show that this occurs when endorphins are released in the peripheral nervous system and eventually bind to receptors in the brain. Endorphins are mainly used to block pain in the body. This could be used as a phenomenon related to homeostasis and interacting body systems.

Web Resource:  Neurobiological Effects of Physical Exercise - Wikipedia


Killer T Cell - The Cancer Assassin

Description: Researchers at the University of Cambridge captured this dramatic footage of killer (cytotoxic) T cells capturing and destroying cancer cells. These white blood cells identify chemicals on the surface of virally-infected or cancerous cells. They then inject chemicals which lead to the death of the infected or cancerous cell. This phenomenon can be used introduce the cell as a basic unit of life or be used in a larger unit on interacting systems or homeostasis.

Web Resources:  Body’s ‘serial killers’ captured on film destroying cancer cells - University of Cambridge, Cytotoxic T cells - Wikipedia



Description:  Synesthesia can be used as an anchoring phenomenon when designing a unit on the hierarchy of life and sensation. Students find this perceptual phenomenon interesting and to properly understand what is going on they will have to understand a specific living system (the nervous system) in much greater detail than what is presented in the video. Students could even develop a test to determine if they, or their classmates, have synesthesia.

Web Resource:  Synesthesia - Wikipedia


The Inner Life Of The Cell

Description:  The Inner Life of the Cell shows a white blood cell flattening out and squeezing through a capillary wall. The video then zooms in to show all the biochemical processes (e.g. transcription, translation, etc.) in amazing detail. This view of the cell as a living machine can be used to introduce a unit on the cell in middle school. In high school students can explore the details of these processes or even make videos of their own.

Web Resource:  The Inner Life of the Cell - Wikipedia


The Immortal Cells of Henrietta Lacks

Description:  This TEDEd video written by Robin Bulleri details the story of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line. A more detailed account of this story can be found in Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This story can be used to illustrate the role of cells in the proper functioning, growth, and reproduction of living organisms. It also can be used to explore ethics within scientific research.

Web Resources:  HeLa - Wikipedia, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Amazon