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May 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 9)

Cell Defense: The Plasma Membrane

  • Different challenges, teaches basic science concepts
  • Lots of ads, cumbersome navigation
Platform: iPad/iPhone  
Cost: Free

Oh no! Doctor Earnest Lee Vial is destroying cell membranes! …Or freezing diffusion! …Or doing other dastardly things to cells! It’s up to you to save all of biology in this fun (if not at times cumbersome) game for your iPad/iPhone. As they work through the different challenges (membrane structure challenge, diffusion challenge, etc.) players learn basic facts about cell biology, such as basic components of the plasma membrane, diffusion, and passive versus active transport. Some of the exercises are tedious (I can only place so many phospholipids into a membrane before I get bored), but overall the games are fun and educational. Be prepared to get annoyed by advertisements that pop up on every screen (you can make them disappear by clicking on the “x” icon), but for a free game it’s not half bad.

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  • Good