Infectious disease affects all our lives to varying degrees, often making front-page news: 'New resistant strain of TB', 'Will bird flu cross over to humans?' 'Hospital infections reach epidemic proportions', etc. This module approaches infectious disease from several perspectives ? exploring the underlying biology, epidemiology, ecology and evolution of pathogens in relation to the extraordinary immune defences of their human hosts. You will learn how infections are diagnosed, how to study changes in the incidence of diseases and investigate strategies for treatment and control through detailed case studies. You will also have the chance to study a disease or disease-related topic in detail.
Ann Grand, Lecturer in Astrobiology Education, interviews Dr Sevasti Filippidou, a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with AstrobiologyOU, on her research looking at microbial life and ecologies in extreme environments and how microbes adapt and survive.
What is ecology and why is it important to our understanding of the world around us? This free course, Introducing the environment: Ecology and ecosystems, looks at how we can study ecosystems to explore the effect that humans are having on the environment.
This free course, Citizen science and global biodiversity, deals with the importance of biodiversity and explores how anyone can contribute to and be involved in identifying and recording wildlife, as a citizen scientist. It looks at what citizen science is, and how citizen science facilitates public involvement in scientific research activities as individuals learn and build skills.
Traditional biological keys are introduced and online recording is demonstrated using citizen science techniques and practical activities using the www.iSpotnature.org platform. The course goes on to demonstrate how, once a species is identified, web resources can be used to research its ecology. The role of citizen science is illustrated through a number of case studies from across the world. Finally, the course concludes by exploring the impact citizen scientists are having on recording biodiversity around the globe.
Have you ever wondered how scientists analyse the environment? This free course, Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology, introduces you to the techniques used by science students at residential schools. You will learn how to determine where rocks have come from and how they were made. You will also examine the processes involved in determining the ecology of a particular area.
To be able to understand the importance of the environment for our health, we need to know a little about the interdependence between environment and humankind. This free course, Health and environment, will look at interactions between plants, animals and the physical and chemical environment, as well as considering ways in which humans have altered, and are altering this environment.
The Saving Species team are joined by Quenton Fontenot who is an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at Nicholls State University, Louisiana. They discuss the value of coastal marshlands and highlight the resiliant nature of the Mississippi Delta