Model cells

Public summary: 

You'll often see these model cells helping to explain other biology experiments, but one day they may get their own solo careers...

Box of model cells
Useful information
Kit List: 

3 x model cells in small blue box

Frequency of use: 

Model cells can help to explain that the units of living things are cells. (You can explain this by saying that a living things is made out of cells like a house is made out of bricks).

The box contains 3 model cells:

• “Cushion” model cell, showing various organelles, including wool for DNA in the nucleus. (This cell was made by Isobel and Lara before 2010).
• Inflatable animal cell, showing various organelles (includes laminated sheet of notes)
• Inflatable plant cell, showing various organelles (includes laminated sheet of notes)

These cells are often used with microscopes and kiwi DNA, and can be split between a number of different biology experiments at an event.

## Some biology to talk about (copied from the experiment Microscopes & Cells) ##
- Cells are very small (typically 10 um for an animal cell... that's 1000 times smaller than 1 cm (you can use the ruler to show 1 cm)
- Cells are analogous to a building brick - houses are built of lots of bricks, like people are built of lots of cells (50-75 trillion!)
- Cells aren't just bricks - they are alive, and make things, use things, and process information
- Have a phospholipid membrane – barrier to extracellular environment
- Nucleus is the ‘control centre’ - contains instructions on how to make proteins, from which the rest of the cell is made. Instructions are written in a 4-letter code on very long molecules called DNA (see Kiwi DNA experiment). DNA to mRNA (transcription), transported out of nucleus, translation on ribosomes to proteins. Proteins go to the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) for further folding, then to Golgi apparatus (more modifications), then on export pathway to exit the cell.
- Cells need energy - this is supplied by mitochondria (they convert energy from sugars into ATP, the energy currency of the cell)
- Plant cells - cell walls and chloroplasts (we have a root tip squash slide where the cell walls are visible and the nuclei are nicely stained, but they don't have chloroplasts because it's a root. If they want to see more plant cells, there's a whole demo on plants...)
- Bacteria are also cells, but they are smaller and don't have a nucleus (associate bacteria with disease e.g. food poisoning caused by E. coli). Bacteria can be lots of different shapes (look at E. coli, Staphylococcus, Spirillum).

Risk Assessment
Date risk assesment last checked: 
Sat, 12/01/2019
Risk assesment checked by: 
Date risk assesment double checked: 
Fri, 18/01/2019
Risk assesment double-checked by: 
Polly Hooton
Risk Assessment: 
Hazard Risk Likelihood Severity Overall Mitigation Likelihood Severity Overall
Model cells Trip hazard if dropped on the floor. 3 2 6 Keep all props in contained area. Pick up immediately if dropped.
Call first aider in case of injury.
1 2 2
Inflatable model cells Risk of injury to demonstrator blowing up inflatable model cells e.g. asthma attack 2 4 8 Demonstrators with respiratory conditions should avoid inflating cells.
In case of accident, demonstrator to sit down and recover under first aider supervision.
1 3 3
Publicity photo: 
Experiment photos: