This module surveys a prominent area of contemporary medical science: the molecular understanding of disease and its use in the design of drugs to treat different disease states and conditions. You'll be introduced to a range of drug therapy topics, including heart disease, infectious diseases (including bacterial and viral), cancer, and neuropharmacology. You will also have the opportunity to undertake independent research, culminating in the production of a literature review which is excellent preparation for the (S810).
Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat, compromising our ability to treat infections and increasing the risk of routine surgery. Resistant infections are increasing due to overuse of antibiotics and this has resulted in the emergence of 'superbugs' (bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics). This free course, Understanding antibiotic resistance, provides the science background underlying antibiotic resistance. It will cover the following questions. What are antibiotics? Why do we need them? How do they work? What is antibiotic resistance? Why is it a problem? What can we do about it?
This free course, Death and medicine: Postponement and promise, helps you to explore the extent to which death and dying in western societies are medical events and what aspects of death and dying might be neglected as a consequence. The course covers the way that such things as medicine provide the context of the experiences associated with the end of life.
Vanessa lives in London. She has cancer. Lemlem lives in rural Ethiopia. She has typhoid. Most people would agree that both women should have similar access to the medicines they need. But why is this harder for Lemlem? And why are fewer drugs developed for common diseases in Lemlem's part of the world? Is it that the pharmaceutical companies are driven only by a profit motive? Is it because of failing infrastructure in developing countries? Or are there more subtle answers? In this feature Keren Bright of The Open University investigates the idea that the patent system is too blunt an instrument to serve the interests of both pharmaceutical companies and the poor like Lemlem. There are smart solutions though; ways for everybody to win. Big questions. Fascinating answers.
This masters level science course aims to give you an understanding of the application of physics to the techniques of radiotherapy, one of the key weapons in the fight against cancer. It is designed to enable you to develop a broad and balanced appreciation of this area of contemporary medicine, rather than a detailed ‘professional’ knowledge. The course explains the principles of applying basic physics to radiotherapy in dosimetry, external and internal treatment methods, treatment planning and radiation protection. You’ll also study radiobiology and consider the effects of ionising radiation on biological tissues. By the end of the course, your understanding of these topics will enable you to discuss confidently the ethical, social and financial constraints in delivering radiotherapy.
This material is taken from The Open University course S819 Radiotherapy and its physics.