Home > Learning Resources > Biology - Keeping Healthy Checklist

Learning Resources - Biology - Keeping Healthy Checklist

How do our bodies resist infection?

There are natural barriers to reduce the risk of harmful microorganisms entering the body – limited to the skin, chemicals in our tears, stomach acid and sweat.

In suitable conditions – inside the body – these microorganisms can reproduce quickly.

Symptoms of a disease are caused by damage done to cells by the microorganisms or the toxins they produce.

Our bodies have immune systems to defend themselves against invading microorganisms.

White blood cells can destroy microorganisms by engulfing and digesting them, or producing antibodies.

A different antibody is needed to recognise each different type of microorganism.

Once the body has made the antibody to recognise a particular microorganism it can make that antibody again very quickly, therefore protecting you against that particular microorganism.

Vaccines and how do they work?  

Microorganisms may enter the body and cause illness before the immune system can destroy them.

Vaccinations provide protection from microorganisms by establishing antibodies before infection.

A vaccination contains a usually safe form of a disease causing microorganism.

Vaccination can never be completely safe – individuals have varying degrees of side effects from a vaccine.

To prevent epidemics of infectious diseases, it is necessary to vaccinate a high percentage of a population.

There is a conflict between a person’s right to decide about vaccination for themselves or their children and what is of benefit to society.

New vaccines against flu have to be developed regularly because the virus changes quickly.

It is difficult to develop an effective vaccine against the HIV virus because the virus damages the immune system and has a high mutation rate.

RE: Vaccination Policy. You should:

be able to state clearly what the issue is

summarise different views

distinguish between technical feasibility and values.

explain why different courses of action may be taken in different social/economic contexts.

Identify/develop, arguments based on the ideas that:

the right decision leads to the best outcome for the majority of the people involved.

certain actions are not justified because they are unnatural/wrong.

Antibiotics – why they become less effective and how new drugs are developed and tested.

We can kill bacteria and fungi, but not viruses – using chemicals called antibiotics.

Over a period of time bacteria and fungi may become resistant to antibiotics.

Random mutations, in the genes of these microorganisms can lead to varieties which are less affected by the antibiotic.

To reduce antibiotic resistance we should only use them when necessary and complete the course.

Human trials may be carried out on healthy volunteers to test safety and also on patients with the illness to test for safety and effectiveness.

The use of ‘blind’ human trials - clinical trials in which the patient does not know that they are taking a new drug, but the doctor does.

The use of double-blind’ trials - neither the doctor nor patient knows whether the patient is taking the new drug.

Placebos are not commonly used in human trials - due to the fact that it may be unfair to the patient if they are suffering from a particular disease and not receiving treatment.

How lifestyle factors can increase the risk of heart disease, identified by epidemiological studies.

Provide a correlation between a factor and an outcome.

Remember to use the ideas of correlation and cause appropriately.

Explain why a correlation between a factor and an outcome does not necessarily mean that one outcome causes the other.

Suggest factors that might increase the chance of an outcome but may not invariably lead to it.

Explain why individual cases do not provide convincing evidence for or against a correlation.

Evaluate the design for a study to test whether or not a factor increases the chance of an outcome à comment on sample size and how well the samples are matched.

Use data to develop an argument that a factor does or does not increase the chance of an outcome.

Identify the presence/absence of a plausible mechanism as significant for the acceptance/rejection of a claimed causal link.

Describe in a broad outline the ‘peer-review’ process - which means new scientific claims are tested and evaluated by other scientists.

New scientific claims that have not been evaluated by the scientific community are less reliable that well-established ones.

Identify absence of replication as a reason for questioning a scientific claim.

Explain why scientists regard it as important that a scientific claim can be replicated by other scientists.

Learning Checklist Word Document .PDF

Educational Material

Rss Feed Available RSS Our Blog Feed

Get Adobe Reader Adobe .PDF


Help us keep it free by donating.

LiveBinder It