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The genetically-controlled process by which an unspecialised stem cell becomes a cell with specialised structures which carries out a particular function


Medicine that is used to treat bacterial infections and works by killing or stopping the growth and reproduction of bacteria. These can be specific to a particular bacteria or act on groups of related bacteria.  


The smallest of living organisms. Viruses are made up of a ball of protein that contains a small amount of the virus DNA. They can only reproduce after they have infected a host cell


Fungi (singular fungus) are either uni-cellular, as in yeasts, or multi-cellular, as in mushrooms, toadstools and moulds. Fungi have a nucleus, cytoplasm and a cell wall

Our battle against bacteria

Infectious Diseases and their treatment

A series of PowerPoint presentations about treatment of infectious disease. Each focuses on one aspect of the ongoing battle against bacteria.

They tell the story of the way people have struggled to overcome the diseases caused by bacteria. There are several different strands to this story, which can be used as a whole class activity or with separate groups, allowing for easy differentiation.

Our battle against bacteria
This presentation has been designed as a starting point for all of the presentations here. It provides an introduction to bacteria (and other microorganisms such as fungi and viruses). The presentation looks at the positive ways in which we use these organisms, and their role in causing many infectious diseases.

Fighting disease through the ages
A quick trip through the ways in which people have tried to overcome infectious diseases.

Chemicals to kill bacteria
Some of the chemicals which people have used – and still use – to kill bacteria, cure diseases and prevent the spread of infection.

The penicillin story
The work of Fleming, Chain and Florey in the development of this groundbreaking medicine.

Medicines for the future
A look at some of the different ways in which scientists are trying to find new antibiotics.