Search Results for 6.3

6.3 Defense Against Infectious Disease

If you like the resources here and the work of Hope HIV, I encourage you to make a donation here.


This is a brilliant TED Talk by Bonnie Bassler on bacteria and how we interact with them:

Click here for the link to AHL content.


Here are some very clear clips for the immune responses to infection, starting with a really well done explanation of Burnet’s Nobel-winning clonal selection theory:

If you like that, check out some more of the videos from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Try this animation and quiz: McGraw Hill Online Centre

And another Nobel-winner, the cellular response from


Phagocytosis in action:

Neutrophil (phagocyte) chasing a bacterium:

The humoral, though not funny, response – from the LifeWire

How does the leukocyte know where to go? Chemotaxis – from Wisc-online


Once you’re sure of how it all works, can you narrate this medical animation?


And for another of the body’s defenses: Natural Killer Cells


Loads more links to clips at North Harris College.



Case Study: Newborn baby ‘cured’ of HIV with rapid detection and ARV treatment. Great introduction to the topic from the New York Times.

Elizabeth Pisani discusses rational behaviour in HIV infection, with lots of Indonesia references:

Hans Rosling, my hero, explodes the Africa=HIV myth using real stats:

90-day time-lapse of a woman on modern anti-AIDS medication:

Could the design of a condom improve HIV prevention? Here is a South African company who hope so: Pronto Condoms. For  a video of how it works (on a plastic model), click here.

Mosaic Science Magazine talks to Françoise Barré-Sinoussi about how she identified HIV as the cause of AIDS, her receipt of the Nobel Prize, and the latest efforts to prevent, treat and manage HIV. [Photo Credit: CC-BY: Ben Gilbert/Wellcome Images]. Click to read.


Antibiotics & Resistance

This is a scary graph. Read this article from Wired and see if you can work out why.

New Antibiotics - from Wired magazine

New Antibiotics – from Wired magazine

And another one from Wired: “Superbugs found in New Delhi’s water and sewage,” which claims that antibiotic resitant genes (NDM-1 enzyme) have appeared in Vibrio cholerae.


So what could happen (and what has in the past) when there is a pandemic? This enlightening BBC Horizon documentary sheds a little light. Get comfortable:

Key terms: immune, macrophage, phagoctosis, leukocyte, lymphocyte, antibody, antigen, epitope, specificity, B-cell, clone cell, clonal selection, immunity, antibiotics, virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, pathogen, challenge, response, HIV, AIDS, mucous membranes.

Biology4Good Charity Focus | Hope HIV

Thanks Kasia from Hope HIV for getting in touch and sending this video, that outlines the great work that they do with the donations people make. They focus on the idea of ‘using who you are to make a difference,’ which is perfect for IB students and teachers. Visit this page in particular to see some stories of people that they have hope in – and then if you feel like making a donation, please visit my JustGiving page for Hope HIV here.

For more resources on HIV and how it connects to our curriculum, visit the page for 6.3 Defense Against Infectious Disease here.

And this one outlines their amazing work and growth since 2000.

World AIDS Day 2010: Universal Access and Human Rights

World AIDS Campaign - click to visit their website

WorldAIDS day is recognised each year on the 1st December. Although in some parts of the world real progress is being made against the epidemic, it doesn’t mean that we can relax and forget about it.

AIDS Ribbons

There are some really interesting datasets on the WHO website related to this theme, including global trends to the present and the current state of HIV infections in the world.

Millenium Development Goal 6 is “Combat HIV and AIDS“. Over past years, World AIDS Campaign slogans have included Keep the Promise and this year they focus on this MDG with their theme of “Universal Access and Human Rights.”

Universal Access means access to prevention, education, treatment and care. The message is spreading, the technologies and medicines are developing and the will is there to change. Now we need to make sure that it gets to the people who really need it.

This reverse-timelapse video of a patient who has access to anti-retroviral medications shows the impact that access can have on a person’s life:

Graph from

Despite the great advances being made in treatment, however, prevention must be the number one focus for efforts and money spent on HIV/AIDS. Programmes such as intervention mapping and education with realistic, achievable and workable methods for each community has to be a real focus for the spending of money raised. Otherwise, infection rates will increase and there’s no way we can afford to treat more and more people each year.

In this enlightening TED Talk, Elisabeth Pisani pays Indonesia a visit and highlights that sometimes there are rational reasons behind the poor decisions that people make, leading eventually to HIV infection. If people are well enough educated to be aware of the risks of HIV and blood-borne infections, then are the systems in place that allow them to make the decisions that are most sensible for them?

So what you can you do about it?

1. Keep yourself safe. Never forget the simple messages of HIV prevention and take care in your activities. Stay healthy, use condoms (or don’t have sex), avoid drug use and insist on new, sterilised needles for tattoos and blood transfusions.

2. Stay aware. Revisit HIV/AIDS education resources and don’t let yourself think that just because some advances are being made, it is OK to forget about the risks.

3. Spread the message. Discuss the risks, find out about the prevalence and risk factors of HIV in your area. Wear a ribbon and use it to start conversations with others.

4. Use reliable, evidence-based health information in your decision-making and encourage others to do the same. Real medicine is based on the scientific method and is rigorous. ‘Alternatives’, quite simply, are not.


Other posts on this site about HIV/AIDS:

Stephen Fry’s HIV and Me

Great documentary following the lives of some HIV patients in the UK.

Defense Against Infectious Disease

Resources for 6.3 and 11.1 of the IB Biology course.

HIV/AIDS: Dangerous Denialism

TOK-related resources based on denialist views against the – very well established – link between HIV and AIDS, fuelled by the ‘documentary’ House of Numbers. You really must read Ben Goldacre’s chapter on this topic from his Bad Science book (free link here).

Defense Against Infectious Disease (Core & AHL)

Standard Level: Essential Biology 6.3 Defense Against Infectious Disease

Higher Level: Essential Biology 6.3 & 11.1  Defense Against Infectious Disease

Core content:

Additional Higher Level:

The Click4Biology pages are here: Core – – AHL

A separate post on HIV/AIDS will follow.

Grade 10 – Pathogens and Disease

Grade 10 Pathogens and Disease – IB Biology prep course

Stay tuned to the class page, found here: Pathogens and Disease

Complete all the notes on Essential Biology: Pathogens and Disease

Click4Biology notes:

Core content:

Further content:

Here is the Pathogenic or Non-Pathogenic? Quiz:

Check out some of these video clips on the immune system:

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