23rd January 2004 at 00:00
Use plastic magnifiers, known as Bioviewers, rather than microscopes, to look at photographic images of disease causing organisms. This equipment is available from suppliers Philip Harris (tel: 0845 120 4520). One set of images in the Junior Biology set is on "What causes disease?" and is suitable for key stages 2 to 3; Bioset "Bacteria", is more detailed and better for KS4-5. Each set has written information for pupils and teachers.

The Internet linked "Library of Science", "Book of the Human Body" (also from Philip Harris) has one topic on medicine which links to 100 tried and tested websites, some of which have information on diseases.

Newspapers are the easiest way of keeping up to date with the rapidly changing scene and provide useful resource material for KS5. The Times, for instance, has a subscription archive online. The Financial Times produced a supplement outlining the global strategy against Aids on November 25, 2003 ("FT. Business and Aids"); links between badgers, cattle and TB are outlined in The Times "pound;25million badger cull halted after TB in cattle increases" (November 5, 2003) and on December 2, 2002 the same paper published "TB or not TB, that is the winter cough question" showing the faces of famous sufferers and discussing the efficacy of BCG immunity. This article could be used in PSHE at KS3 as well, to coincide with when pupils get their BCG jabs.

Information about how research into TB and Aids is progressing can be found at fnih.orgglobalhealth.html and A wider range of advice can be found through The British Lung Foundation (, The British Thoracic Society ( and TB Alert , (

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