B6.3 Monitoring and maintaining health
Navigate to resources by choosing units within one of the unit groups shown below.
BM6.3i - translate information between graphical and numerical forms
BM6.3ii - construct and interpret frequency tables and diagrams, bar charts and histograms
BM6.3iii - understand the principles of sampling as applied to scientific data
BM6.3iv - calculate cross-sectional areas of bacterial cultures and clear agar jelly using πr2
BM6.3v - use a scatter diagram to identify a correlation between two variables
B6.3a - describe the relationship between health and disease
B6.3b - describe different types of diseases to include communicable and non-communicable diseases
B6.3c - describe the interactions between different types of disease to include HIV and tuberculosis; HPV and cervical cancer
B6.3d - explain how communicable diseases (caused by viruses, bacteria, protists and fungi) are spread in animals and plants to include plant diseases: virus tobacco mosaic virus TMV, fungal Erysiphe graminis barley powdery mildew, bacterial Agrobacterium tumafaciens crown gall disease
B6.3e - explain how the spread of communicable diseases may be reduced or prevented in animals and plants to include detection of the antigen, DNA testing, visual identification of the disease by a plant pathologist
B6.3f - describe a minimum of one common human infection, one plant disease and sexually transmitted infections in humans including HIV/AIDS
B6.3g - explain how white blood cells and platelets are adapted to their defence functions in the blood
B6.3h - describe the non-specific defence systems of the human body against pathogens B6.3i - explain the role of the immune system of the human body in defence against disease
B6.3j - explain the use of vaccines and medicines in the prevention and treatment of disease to include antibiotics, antivirals and antiseptics
B6.3k - describe the processes of discovery and development of potential new medicines to include preclinical and clinical testing
B6.3l - recall that many non-communicable human diseases are caused by the interaction of a number of factors to include cardiovascular diseases, many forms of cancer, some lung (bronchitis) and liver (cirrhosis) diseases and diseases influenced by nutrition, including type 2 diabetes
B6.3m - evaluate some different treatments for cardiovascular disease to include lifestyle, medical and surgical
B6.3n - analyse the effect of lifestyle factors on the incidence of non-communicable diseases at local, national and global levels to include lifestyle factors to include exercise, diet, alcohol and smoking
B6.3o - describe cancer as the result of changes in cells that lead to uncontrolled growth and division
B6.3p - discuss potential benefits and risks associated with the use of stem cells in medicine to include tissue transplantation and rejection
B6.3q - explain some of the possible benefits and risks of using gene technology in medicine to include practical and ethical considerations
B6.3r - discuss the potential importance for medicine of our increasing understanding of the human genome to include the ideas of predicting the likelihood of diseases occurring and their treatment by drugs which are targeted to genomes
This topic area covers types of disease, how they are spread, how our bodies defend themselves against disease and how immunity is achieved. The topic is split into two main categories: communicable disease in plants and animals and non-communicable disease. The prevention of disease is also covered so that learners become more aware of how to reduce our risk of contracting these diseases through our life-style choices and what new technologies scientists are developing to combat disease such as monoclonal antibodies and gene technology.
Challenges learners face when tackling this topic at GCSE
There are a large number of key terms learners need to know and understand in this topic, therefore introducing these terms and regular recapping of them in a variety of ways such as DART exercises, key word bingo, odd-one-out, crosswords etc. will help learners remember the terminology and their meanings. Within this topic learners may hold a number of misconceptions such as all micro-organisms are bad, antibiotics kill all micro-organisms, a person can get a disease from the vaccine, health is purely physical not mental, cancer is genetic. In addition, causes of cancer can be very confusing to learners who may have seen various articles in the media such as artificial sweeteners, mobile phones, antiperspirants and hair dye all being examples of carcinogens. It may be worth discussing as a class what learners already know about cancer and what causes it to dispel some of these myths.
In this activity, groups of learners will write/plan a play showing how the body defends itself against microorganisms once they have entered the body. Learners use text books and/or the internet to find out how different types of white blood cells fight infection and how the body becomes immune to a particular infection.
Plays/sketches can be performed in front of the class and learners can comment on what they liked about each play (content and performance) as well as constructive comments for improvements.
In this activity teachers read out statements about the chemicals/drugs used to kill pathogens and learners hold up a card reading 'antiseptic', antibiotic' or 'antiviral' for each statement.
Teachers may wish learners to ask learners to write each statement in a table to summarise the differences.