Activities

Cellular Invaders

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

Ouch! Jill stubbed her toe and now has a big fat splinter! Having just seen Star Wars: The Phantom Menace she imagines there's a Cell War going on. She daydreams about writing a script for a new movie Cell Wars: The Phantom Microbes and Immunity:

In a time not long ago and in a body not far away, there is a war going on. The defense shield has been breached and the blood cell soldiers are fighting for their lives against the invading bacteria. The splinter that allowed these evil minions into the blood stream must be removed and all traces of the invaders destroyed.

In this activity, you'll help Jill do research for her movie. Then, you'll help finish her script.

  1. Jill studies the animation at Anatomy of a Splinter and skims the paragraph next to it. You do the same. Which blood cells leave the blood vessel and launch an attack on the splinter?
  2. What do these cells do next?
  3. Next, you'll see how white blood cells find the "bad guys". Read the paragraph and watch the animation. Then describe what happens during chemotaxis.
  4. Jill considers a high action scene with a special white blood cell warrior called a macrophage. Review the photo sequence of a macrophage. The invader looks like a number "8" on its side. Then click on the link for the phagocytosis movie. Explain how the macrophage warrior captures the invader.
  5. At the end of the capture, where is the invader?
  6. What must the macrophage do to the invader to fully win the cell war?
  7. Next, you'll see how your immune system cells kill the invader. How does the white cell in the photo sequence kill the yeast cell?
  8. Use what you've learned about the body's immune response to a cellular invader to write an ending to Jill's script.