Wednesday, April 9, 2014


This colorful, interactive biology application, made by HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology will help students of all ages understand the anatomy of organisms' cells.  Version 3.2 works on IOS 4.3 or later.  Icell is 18 megabytes, and is most recently updated on November eighteen 2011.   Icell is compatible on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

As you open Icell, 3 boxes labeled Animal, Plant and Bacteria with an animation in each show on the main menu.  After selecting an organism, a huge cell with a membrane will appear.  In the bottom left corner there is a box with 3 settings: basic, intermediate and advanced.  After selecting one of these, then tap on a part of the cell and the app will zoom in on the part you tapped on; Writing then appears explaining what that part of the cell does and what it is, the writing is of the difficulty you selected. For example a basic definition of nucleus is: "The nucleus holds the genetic information for the cell". An intermediate definition is: "The nucleus is a double membrane-bound organelle that acts as the central storage area  for the genomic DNA. The DNA shown inside the nucleus has been tightly wound around proteins to condense its overall size. An advanced definition is: "The nucleus is where the DNA is stored and replicated and where mRNA is transcribed.  It is surrounded by the nuclear envelope, which is a double-membrane structure with pores that control intake and export.  The DNA in the nucleus shown here is tightly coiled around a number of proteins known as histones to reduce its overall length.  The nucleus also contains the nucleolus where the ribosomes are assembled before being exported to the cytoplasm".   Swiping across the cell rotates and moves the cell, also pinching and pulling zooms in and out for an in-depth look at the cell.

I recommend Icell for students ages ten and up because the explanations go from very basic, all the way up to college level writing. This is a very exciting, interactive, colorful biology application that explores the iPads' touch screen capabilities with manual zooming in and out and rotating.  Students will learn an extensive vocabulary and cell anatomy.  I highly recommend Icell to all students ten and up interested in biology.

1 comment:

  1. Well done! I liked how you provided the three different levels of definitions as this allows the readers to determine if the App is appropriate for their needs. I have heard about this App and your review supports what I have heard about it.