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A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism, capable of causing disease.


A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions.

Modern Medicines

One hundred years ago a child born in England could expect to live to 55 if it was a girl, 51 for a boy. A girl born in UK in 2006-8 is expected to live, on average, to 81 and a boy to 77 - this increase is due, in part, to modern medicines.


Curing disease

In the 21st century medicines are available to treat a wide variety of diseases, but most of them only treat the symptoms of the disease - they don't provide a long term cure. Because infectious diseases are caused by pathogens that can be killed, medicines to treat infectious disease aim to not only make you feel better, but actually cure the disease.

Developing medicines

Developing medicines

How to use this site

There are a number of interactive features in this e-source:

  • A glossary of terms: any word with a glossary entry is highlighted like this.
  • Quick questions: at the end of a page/section, there is a set of quick questions to test your understanding of the scientific ideas.
  • Animations: most of the animations can be expanded to full screen size, ideal for showing on an interactive whiteboard. The animations will play all the way through or can be viewed one section at a time.
  • Downloads: Teachers can download individual diagrams, animations and other content from the Download Library area of the website. Terms and Conditions apply.