7th May 2004 at 01:00
KS 3

A close look at a mosquito's head, by viewing a prepared slide through a microscope or slide strip through a viewer, will reveal the needle-like tube which the female uses to pierce skin and the male uses to suck up plant juices. Use a hand lens to look at greenfly on roses and see similar mouth parts in action; for contrast, observe a caterpillar of the cabbage white butterfly using its biting jaws to cut leaves.Link into work on adaptation of structure to function.

KS 2-5

Interesting work on the demography of disease can be done using information on the distribution of malaria and sickle-cell anaemia, available in most standard texts. The latter is the result of an inherited mutation of a gene involved with haemoglobin formation. People who carry the recessive allele are immune to malaria. Texts on historical aspects of diseases and their spread include Disease by Joyce Filer (British Museum Press) and Plague's Progress by Arno Karlen (Phoenix). Articles on malaria and its treatment appear in Biological Sciences Review (the subscription journal for sixth-formers), eg "New medicines for the developing world": vol 14, no. 1, September 2001, page 22. Malaria Foundation

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