Articles, Blog

Cell vs. virus: A battle for health – Shannon Stiles

October 18, 2019

You’re in line at the grocery store when, uh oh, someone sneezes on you. The cold virus is sucked inside your lungs and lands on a cell on your airway lining. Every living thing on Earth is made of cells, from the smallest one-celled bacteria to the giant blue whale to you. Each cell in your body is surrounded by a cell membrane, a thick flexible layer made of fats and proteins, that surrounds and protects the inner components. It’s semipermeable, meaning that it lets some thing pass in and out but blocks others. The cell membrane is covered with tiny projections. They all have functions, like helping cells adhere to their neighbors or binding to nutrients the cell will need. Animal and plant cells have cell membranes. Only plant cells have a cell wall, which is made of rigid cellulose that gives the plant structure. The virus cell that was sneezed into your lungs is sneaky. Pretending to be a friend, it attaches to a projection on the cell membrane, and the cell brings it through the cell membrane and inside. When the virus gets through, the cell recognizes its mistake. An enemy is inside! Special enzymes arrive at the scene and chop the virus to pieces. They then send one of the pieces back through the cell membrane, where the cell displays it to warn neighboring cells about the invader. A nearby cell sees the warning and immediately goes into action. It needs to make antibodies, proteins that will attack and kill the invading virus. This process starts in the nucleus. The nucleus contains our DNA, the blueprint that tells our cells how to make everything our bodies need to function. A certain section of our DNA contains instructions that tell our cells how to make antibodies. Enzymes in the nucleus find the right section of DNA, then create a copy of these instructions, called messenger RNA. The messenger RNA leaves the nucleus to carry out its orders. The messenger RNA travels to a ribosome. There can be as many as 10 million ribosomes in a human cell, all studded along a ribbon-like structure called the endoplasmic reticulum. This ribosome reads the instructions from the nucleus. It takes amino acids and links them together one by one creating an antibody protein that will go fight the virus. But before it can do that, the antibody needs to leave the cell. The antibody heads to the golgi apparatus. Here, it’s packed up for delivery outside the cell. Enclosed in a bubble made of the same material as the cell membrane, the golgi apparatus also gives the antibody directions, telling it how to get to the edge of the cell. When it gets there, the bubble surrounding the antibody fuses to the cell membrane. The cell ejects the antibody, and it heads out to track down the virus. The leftover bubble will be broken down by the cell’s lysosomes and its pieces recycled over and over again. Where did the cell get the energy to do all this? That’s the roll of the mitochondria. To make energy, the mitochondria takes oxygen, this is the only reason we breathe it, and adds electrons from the food we eat to make water molecules. That process also creates a high energy molecule, called ATP which the cell uses to power all of its parts. Plant cells make energy a different way. They have chloroplasts that combine carbon dioxide and water with light energy from the sun to create oxygen and sugar, a form of chemical energy. All the parts of a cell have to work together to keep things running smoothly, and all the cells of your body have to work together to keep you running smoothly. That’s a whole lot of cells. Scientists think there are about 37 trillion of them.


  • Reply Pusheen Peanut June 28, 2019 at 5:30 am

    Cancer is cells that puts its own survival over yours. Think about that in this context.

  • Reply XFade June 29, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Every time I get a cut I start a war in my body

  • Reply Chris Robins June 30, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thats not how they get the energy from the microconderea

  • Reply copy ninja strike July 1, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Cells are good and virus is bad cells vs. virus the cells will be won

  • Reply Immortal Dragon July 2, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Who else thinks those antibody tanks look cute affffff

  • Reply William Kress III July 2, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Nice vid

  • Reply Ibbangin254 Morgan July 2, 2019 at 9:50 am

    (viruses) why is there boss music

  • Reply PRAVI ISTORIČAR July 4, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    So you are telling mi that in my body is a protean tanks and computers???

  • Reply Giga Soxadze July 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm


  • Reply Brix Cuajao July 7, 2019 at 6:06 am

    3:04 fvck u

  • Reply Anh Bui Gia July 7, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Me : get a papercut
    The body :

  • Reply Stewart Wilde July 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Literally learned more in this four-minute video then I did in my high school biology class cell unit. Teachers make everything so complicated.

  • Reply Juliet Obrado July 13, 2019 at 2:58 am

    love the graphics?

  • Reply Marvin Zhang July 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Nature creates antibody within hours, human creates anti-body within decades of years

  • Reply hnk dln July 15, 2019 at 7:10 am

    wow too good explanation…

  • Reply clumsy club July 16, 2019 at 10:05 am

    1:45 I thought it said Gucci Tae(taehyung)

  • Reply Abderrahmane Sebaa July 17, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Yeah, all this came by chance

  • Reply Smart Kangaroo Joey July 18, 2019 at 4:43 am

    I love your channel 🙂

  • Reply EdibleMilk July 18, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Someone should make this into a TD game

  • Reply Andrey Mbao July 19, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    If learning at school was this easy and fun we'd all be getting A's

  • Reply Kunal Habib July 20, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    My cells are more successful than me lol??

  • Reply Phạm Duy Anh July 22, 2019 at 3:17 am

    viet nam dau rui

  • Reply Rahul Patwadi July 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    The best animations i have ever seen.

  • Reply S K Das July 24, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Lol you should've shown this when I was a kid

  • Reply Noralyn Mae Roma July 25, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    When I was in school it really looks so complicated ??

  • Reply Rick D July 26, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Do Fungi Vs T-Cells and microphages

  • Reply 권희정 July 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    You can dowalnd many Ted,Ted-Ed too see no Wifi! Iuse that to

  • Reply Cheler Orit July 29, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Love the animation..
    Makes it easier to understand

  • Reply Srini Devabhaktuni July 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Our body is very intelligent

  • Reply KASHIF7 KATO July 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Did the oxygen show me middle finger

  • Reply Mat Bolles July 31, 2019 at 3:01 pm


  • Reply Flaming Arrow August 1, 2019 at 3:48 am

    But why we need the antibodies if the enzymes chop the virus to pirces already?

  • Reply slmbzz 1991 August 2, 2019 at 6:03 am

    o2 is like f— off 3:05

  • Reply mulielo01 August 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    *get's a cut * you : meh I'm okay cell's: this means war !!!

  • Reply Michelle Thomas August 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    who is watching this with a cold

  • Reply Supreme_ X August 5, 2019 at 4:20 am

    You just made studying for me

  • Reply A B For You August 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Shannon stiler also sound like having sick virus!!!

  • Reply Edan Lian August 5, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    First word: "You're"
    Last word: "Them"
    Combined: "You're them"
    Video classification: Learning how cells work
    You are a cell

  • Reply saki shredder August 6, 2019 at 12:13 am

    That is a concise ,beautiful and committed to the love of science video that explains our marvel of creation our cells

  • Reply soggy bread639 August 6, 2019 at 3:37 am

    I learned more in a 4 min vid than what my teacher would discuss for an hour

  • Reply Aniya TV August 6, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    My body had world war 4 and 5 And I could have died from both

    If your wondering how witch your probably not I had nemona and flu and it dose not feel good at all

  • Reply LeahnRen Mercredi August 6, 2019 at 10:28 pm


  • Reply Pablo's Japan adventures August 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    3:37 That's not the face of someone running smoothly.

  • Reply S D August 11, 2019 at 5:20 am

    When you try to hack something so you can be like your hero 1:36

    It's a watch_dogs 2 reference

  • Reply Chong Zhenxi August 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    When you get paper cut viruses are the India and the cells are Americans and they’re start micro war 3

  • Reply Sheridan August 12, 2019 at 6:42 am

    I LOVE this !

  • Reply bryan chan August 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you! I learned.

  • Reply Joecon01 August 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Then how come I still get a god dam cold

  • Reply Bloxy Pad August 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    0:58 Da Trojan horse (in the Iliad that’s how they destroy Troy. They sneak into a wooden horse.

  • Reply Big Bubble August 15, 2019 at 5:13 am

    The robots are cute

  • Reply Khaleesi Romaerys August 17, 2019 at 3:31 am

    This is funny like there was a constant battle inside of us. Every now and then cells die and many new cells are born. Just like in the world we know today.

  • Reply Karlangelo Arcenas August 17, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Bacteriophage is the Ally of the cell

  • Reply Z August 20, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    your awesome work is really appriciatble

  • Reply Moony August 21, 2019 at 2:39 am

    The animator did an amazing job

  • Reply Loki Odinson August 21, 2019 at 10:30 am

    ooohh, they so cute!!

  • Reply Benjamin Liang August 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    In other words World War III? But in cells.

  • Reply rosegold August 24, 2019 at 1:45 am

    This is so cool! It’s like a battle really

  • Reply Some1diotOnYoutube 『』 August 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    The cells look so cute.

  • Reply LEO 1 August 25, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Being a cell is kinda cool

  • Reply FloppyMochi Express August 26, 2019 at 4:30 am

    The mitochondria is the powerhouse of thee cell :b

  • Reply Jimin Park August 27, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Why am I watching this? I learned all of this freshman year.

  • Reply Ma1Luffy LuffyMore August 29, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Lol,why there is a smoke in human body? The human must be hurt..

  • Reply Ma1Luffy LuffyMore August 29, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Can Ebola fight cells?

  • Reply Cicak Kobeng August 29, 2019 at 1:46 pm


    Mitochondria is the powerhouse of a cell

  • Reply Aidy LD September 1, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    T cell: hello cancer
    Cancer: * weakened the T cell *
    Scientist: *upgrades t cell
    T cell: see you later cancer gator

  • Reply alma y jose duenas September 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Make more science don’t make jokes

  • Reply The kalugo family September 3, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Me: gets a cold
    My body: Ok it's World War 382929292020101

  • Reply Pat Weibe September 4, 2019 at 1:47 am

    And don’t forget Autobody is very complex so sometimes I can get fooled I don’t forget but then he realized done with the bank is wrong just like your face you hear from Vons now every day you make a mistake you can fix your mistakes all day long if you make a mistake fixing somebody else make some of the candy can’t fix it Daryl Reaume you should always help out those are words from God’s mouth And who’s send it God God made us do you know alarm by Parks very well you don’t need a shoulder even help him he is God God is truly a hero he sent his only one in son to be dead on the cross so he can take away our sins he never died on the cross for our sins wouldn’t be forgiven so he did that for Wright for their music

  • Reply almisador September 4, 2019 at 8:17 am


  • Reply G:TRAP JEREMEY September 7, 2019 at 8:07 am

    If I was there I will DESTROY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Chitra Rasquinha September 10, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Wait a minute the oxygen is
    middle figer . what a funny joke ?

  • Reply Chitra Rasquinha September 10, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    We can't make food be own but the plant cell will make food by chloroplast. When 100 millions year ago the chloroplast take CO2 , H2O and Sun light☀ and release oxygen in atmosphere. When some cells eat the chloroplast and become plants cell. I study it form TED-Ed .

  • Reply Chitra Rasquinha September 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Sorry. The O2 saw middle figer to us . what bro (TED-Ed).

  • Reply Chitra Rasquinha September 10, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you my book in 8 class and chapter name us structure of cells. But some i can study but form you and my mother i can l learn more GK knowledge. Best of luck of 100000000

  • Reply gaming kid 36 September 11, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    Whats games name

  • Reply สุโขทัย โมบาย September 13, 2019 at 11:55 am


  • Reply Rehan Sajid September 14, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Where can I get teammates good as this cells

  • Reply Rehan Sajid September 14, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Ok I had a lot of scars,scratch,flu etc… I just got a little sick so I started body war 100000

  • Reply Byo_ Athlete September 15, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Relax your body + empty stomach + meditate in any position as long as you are comfortable: walking, standing, lying, sitting. That's the key to eliminating toxins

  • Reply Georgio Raphaelli September 15, 2019 at 7:07 pm


  • Reply Jel Gamer September 16, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Ted-ed is the only educational channel that acutally makes me want to learn, unlike school

  • Reply Last Prophet September 17, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    these animations are lit

  • Reply Tuanku Izan September 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    If we only need to use oxygen for energy why dont we just take the energy we need not oxygen

  • Reply Ahmed September 19, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Not so bad.

  • Reply F B I September 19, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Clash of clan wars 101

  • Reply Sandeep Agarwal September 22, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I am confused….
    Is this really true !!!!????

  • Reply sarahanan regunathen September 26, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I am going to eat a lot of vitamin

  • Reply Kamuraze needs Peter to explain the joke September 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    It just works

  • Reply Mini Bigs September 27, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    You Started WW2 With Your Body!

  • Reply Viktor Barna September 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    the microchondria is the
    powerhouse of the cell

  • Reply Chuck e Cheese September 30, 2019 at 12:10 am

    So This Is Also How WW2 Happend

  • Reply ARTEMIS September 30, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Whenever you feel unloved and lonely, just remember that there are trillions of cell working to altogether for you.

  • Reply swati kate October 1, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    That means we are a biological machine

  • Reply Thanapruet Kaewpuangsek October 3, 2019 at 5:35 am

    Man:ah my life so short.
    Mosquito:nah i have 2 mont to live.
    Blood cell:oh well i have 2 days to live.

  • Reply Zubawer Alam October 7, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Yr right

  • Reply Md.Hemayet Hossain October 8, 2019 at 5:16 am

    but HIV win??

  • Reply V D October 11, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I love how creative they show the lesson.

  • Reply Như Bình Nguyễn October 12, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Amazing! Thank you.

  • Reply LavenderKattii x October 15, 2019 at 2:56 am

    Wow I have soldiers in my body
    i feels uncomfortable

  • Reply G e n u i n e S h a m e October 15, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    I think the narrator hasn't hit the puberty yet.

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