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Fighting disease - drugs


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Relieve symptoms
Some drugs do this e.g. painkillers and cold remedies
Painkillers
They relieve pain but they don't tackle the cause of the disease
Penicillin
This is an antibiotic. This kills or prevents the growth of the bacteria causing the problem without damaging your body cells
Antibiotics
Different types of these kill different types of diseases so you need the right one. They cannot destroy viruses
Viruses
They reproduce using your body cells which makes it hard to develop a drug that destroys them without harming your body cells
Mutation
Bacteria can do this to become resistant to antibiotics
Resistant bacteria
This is an example of natural selection. This allows the bacteria to reproduce and attack your body without problem (until your immune system destroys them); this can cause a lot of problems.
MRSA
This is known as methicillin resistant ataphylococcus aureus. This causes serious wound infections and it is resistant to all antibiotics, including the really powerful methicillin
Reduction of mutation
To slow down the rate of development of resistant strains it is important for doctors to not over-prescribe antibiotics. You should only be given antibiotics for something serious, so doctors do not give antibiotics for sore throats etc.
Investigating bacteria
This can be done in a lab at school. In a school lab the incubator shouldn't let the bacteria be above 25 degrees because harmful pathogens are less likely to grow at this temperature
Culture medium
This is where micro-organisms are grown, this is usually in agar jelly
Agar jelly
This contains carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins that bacteria will need to grow. It is heated and then poured into Petri dishes
Petri dishes
These are small shallow round plastic dishes that hot agar jelly is poured into. They must have a lid on to avoid contamination and the lid should be taped on.
Inoculating loops
These are wire loops used to transfer micro-organisms to the culture medium
Antibiotic tests
Paper discs can be soaked in different types of antibiotics and placed in with the bacteria in the agar jelly. This allows you to see the resistant and non-resistant bacteria as well as the most successful antibiotic
Sterilisation
This must be done to the Petri dish, medium culture and the inoculating loops. If this isn't done unwanted micro-organisms can grow and affect the results
Sterilising the inoculating loops
This can be done by passing them through a flame
Industrial conditions
The cultures are kept at a higher temperature to allow the pathogens to grow a lot faster