Exploring the Living Cell DVD, By Véronique Kleiner and Christian Sardet Inspire article

The Exploring the Living Cell DVD includes a wide range of films about the cell, covering many topics and providing background information for lessons: the history of the discovery of the cell, ethical debates about stem cells and evolution/creationism, and current research in cell biology. For the…

This animation is breathtaking for two reasons. First, it includes excellent colourful representations of cell structures and a detailed close-up picture produced by an electron microscope, giving the viewer the feeling of being in the middle of the action. Second, the film’s underlying explanations are so fast that one starts to gasp for air, glued to the fast-changing scenery while still absorbing the information.

Older school students with a good knowledge of cell biology will find the animation very useful for reviewing what they have already learned and will enjoy the perfect visualisation. In teacher-training institutes, this film and the rest of the DVD would be perfect for providing a wider and updated perspective on teaching biology and cytology.

For teaching the structure and function of the cell to less advanced students, there is a slower version of the animated filmw1. This could be used as a self-teaching tool for all levels of students across Europe – and should be mandatory for bilingual schools!

The related Bioclips websitew2, which includes many of the animations found on the DVD, is also a very useful teaching tool. It offers a diversity of ‘real-life’ videos, short enough to repeat and discuss in the classroom whenever related topics come up. Watching these prize-winning movies is very motivating, and makes the science of cell interaction more fun to study. The whole webpage should win a prize!

Full contents

  • The story of the discovery of the cell: 1 film
  • Evolution and diversity of cells, stem cells, debates: 4 films
  • The world of biologists, laboratories and cells: 13 films
  • Voyage inside the cell: 1 computer-animated film
  • Explanatory notes, links to websites


Publisher: CNRS Images, with support from INSERM, Max Planck, Zeiss
Publication year: 2006
Running time: 180 minutes
Format: DVD 9 PAL, all zones, format 4:3
Menus and subtitles: English, French and German


Price: €35 (private use) or €45 (institutional use), including VAT, plus postage and packaging

The DVD can be ordered from:

Véronique Goret (Sales)
CNRS Images
1 place Aristide Briand
92195 Meudon cedex
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 07 59 69
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 07 58 60
Email: videotheque.vente@cnrs-bellevue.fr
Website: www.cnrs.fr/cnrs-images/

Web References

  • w1 – A slower version of the Voyage Inside the Cell film can be purchased ($24.95) here
  • w2 – On the Bioclips website, 90 sequences of cells from the Exploring the Living Cell DVD are made freely available




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