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Oxygen’s surprisingly complex journey through your body - Enda Butler

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Oxygen forms about 21% of the air around us. In your body, oxygen forms a vital role in the production of energy in most cells. But if gases can only efficiently diffuse across tiny distances, how does oxygen reach the cells deep inside your body? Enda Butler tracks the surprisingly complex journey of oxygen through your body.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Enda Butler
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Dalibor Rajninger
  • Producer Vessela Dantcheva
  • Animator Dalibor Rajninger
  • Designer Dalibor Rajninger
  • Illustrator Dalibor Rajninger
  • Composer Alexander Daniel, Alexander Evtimov, Mihail Yosifov
  • Sound Designer Alexander Daniel, Alexander Evtimov, Mihail Yosifov
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Our 100 trillion-cell body comes from just one little cell. This original cell contains a nucleus with half the genetic information from the female and half from the male. Within that cell there are organelles, distinct areas that perform specific functions. When the cell divides in two, the cells are connected by protein fibers and communicate chemically, and so it goes, on and on, until we have what we would recognize as human. In fact, throughout life your very survival depends on proper cellular communication. All cells are receiver-transmitters engaged in a lifelong physiological chat.

Breathing is just one example of how the different regions of the body work together, just like the organelles of a cell, to sustain life. If the body needs to exchange a molecule with the external environment, it frequently uses breathing, the respiratory system, or the gastrointestinal system. Many molecules need carrier molecules for safe and efficient transport. These molecules need to be constructed somewhere like the bone marrow or liver. The regulation of these molecules and processes often happens via hormones or nervous input. It’s worth viewing the work of Dr Jean Claude Guimberteau and, for a great example of overall body connection, the Integral Anatomy Series by Gill Hedley PhD.

The proponents of Functional Medicine believe that since the body's systems are all interconnected, the most effective way to treat disease is by addressing multiple physiological systems, mental, social and lifestyle factors. Take a look a how they turn this concept into practice.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Enda Butler
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Dalibor Rajninger
  • Producer Vessela Dantcheva
  • Animator Dalibor Rajninger
  • Designer Dalibor Rajninger
  • Illustrator Dalibor Rajninger
  • Composer Alexander Daniel, Alexander Evtimov, Mihail Yosifov
  • Sound Designer Alexander Daniel, Alexander Evtimov, Mihail Yosifov
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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