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Biology Revision:

Topic 11.1 – How do humans’ bodies respond to changes

inside them and to their environment?

- Explain what a stimulus is by highlighting examples and what organs they

- Describe how a nervous response is brought about by stimuli, including the roles
of receptors, sensory neurones, the coordinator and motor neurones.
 Stimulus (Light bulb) -> Receptor (Eye) -> impulse travels along the
sensory neurone to -> Coordinator (Brain) -> impulse travels along
the motor neurone to -> Effector (Eye muscle) -> Response
• Neurone = A single nerve
- Describe a reflex action and the role of the relay neurone in this action.
 Receptor (Finger) -> impulse travels along sensory neurone -> comes
to synapse -> goes onto the relay neurone -> to synapse -> along the
motor neurone -> Effector (Arm
• Synapse = gaps between
the end of a neurone and
the start of another or an
• Axon = the end of a

- Explain that four internal

conditions controlled by the
body include; water content,
ion content, body temperature
and blood sugar. Describe, in very broad outline, how they are controlled.
 Ion content leaves body 1) in sweat 2) excess lost via kidneys in

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
 The water content of body leaves body 1) in breath 2) as sweat 3)
excess is lost via kidneys in urine.
 Temperature -> maintain temperature at which enzymes work best.
 Blood sugar levels -> to provide the cells with a constant supply of
- Describe hormones as chemicals which coordinate reactions in the body and that
are secreted by glands and reach their target organs via the blood stream.
 Pituitary glands -> FSH and LH.
 Ovaries -> oestrogen and progesterone.
 FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) – egg mature + oestrogen to be
 Oestrogen – thickens uterus lining + inhibits FSH
 LH (Luteinizing hormone) – egg is released from ovary + stimulates
- Describe how hormones control both the monthly release of an egg and the
varying thickness of the lining.
- Recall the location of the pituitary gland and the ovaries and that they are the
main hormone glands for the release of the menstrual cycle hormones.
- Describe the dual role of FSH, secreted by the pituitary, of causing eggs to
mature in ovaries and to stimulate the production of oestrogen from the ovaries.
- Describe the dual role of oestrogen of inhibiting further FSH production and of
stimulating the pituitary to produce LH.
- Explain how oral contraceptives work by containing hormones that inhibit FSH
- Explain how FSH can be used as a fertility drug.

Topic 11.2 – What can we do to keep our bodies healthy:

Healthy diet:
o Vitamin C prevents scurvy  citrus fruits
o Vitamin D prevents rickets  meat

o It helps keep our cell cytoplasm functioning

o Fibre working well
To keep digestion

o Calcium  for bones and teeth

o Iron  red blood cell

o Simple sugars (glucose)

 Immediate energy
o Complex carks (starch in pasta/bread)
Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
 Release energy slowly
o Energy storage
Fats / Lipids
o Insulation

o Growth and repairProteins

(nuts and meats)

- Describe a balanced diet as talking the right balance of different foods you need
and the right amount of energy.
- Explain how an unbalanced diet leads to malnourishment and deficiency diseases.
- Recall that the rate at which all the chemical reactions in the cells of the body
are carried out (the metabolic rate).
- Explain how the following factors can affect an individual’s metabolic rate;
Inherited factors, proportion of muscle to fat in the body and amount of daily
- Explain that in the developed world the abundance of food leads to weight gain
which causes the following diseases; arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure,
heart disease.
- Discuss the problems associated with the lack of food in the developing world that
include; reduced resistance to infections and irregular periods in women.
- Recall that cholesterol is a substance made by the liver and found in the blood.
- Explain that cholesterol levels in the blood are dependent on both inherited
factors and diet. High levels of cholesterol increase the chance of
arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
- Recall that lipoproteins carry cholesterol round the blood. One type, low-density-
lipoprotein LDL, can cause heart disease. The other type, high-density-lipoprotein
HDL, is considered a good lipoprotein. The balance of HDL and LDL is very
important to good heart health.
- Explain that saturated fats increase blood cholesterol levels whilst mono-
unsaturated and polyunsaturated gats may help to both reduce blood cholesterol
levels and improve the balance between LDL and HDL.
- Recall that too much slat in the diet can lead to increased blood pressure for
about 30% of the population.
- Understand that processed food often contains a high proportion of fat and/or

CHD – Coronary Heart Disease

CVD – Cardiovascular Disease

CHD is just the diseases to the heart and CVD is veins/arteries problems, which
causes other diseases.

Metabolic Rate:

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
- This is the rate at which all the chemical reactions in the cells of the body are
carried out.
- Our Metabolic rate is affected by certain factors:
 The amount of food eaten.
 Genes.
 Levels of physical activity.
 The ratio of fat to muscle in the body.

The Basal Metabolic rate is the amount of energy used up by chemical reactions in the
cells in the body, when at rest.

Healthy Diets:
A person is malnourished if their diet is not balanced, and this can lead to a person
being too fat or thin / deficiency diseases such as scurvy (lack of vitamin C).

Arthritis (worn joints), Diabetes (high blood sugar), High blood pressure (too much
salt) and Heart disease have all been linked to obesity.

Reduced resistance to infection and irregular periods in women are problems that have
been linked to the lack of food.
Benefits of cutting down salt:
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Less risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Notice a wider range of taste in food as taste buds adjust to having less

Cholesterol is a substance made in the liver. It is found in the blood stream. The
amount of cholesterol produced by the liver depends on a combination of diet and
genes. High levels of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of disease of the
heart and blood vessels.
Cholesterol is carried around the body by two types of lipoproteins. Low-Density-
Lipoprotein (LDL) are bad cholesterol and can cause heart disease. High-Density-
Lipoprotein (HDL) are good cholesterol. The balance of the two is very important to

Topic 11.3 – How do we use/abuse medical and recreational


- Explain how drugs can be both beneficial and harmful and from where they are
- Describe the stages in drug testing and why they need to be performed.

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
o 1000s of chemicals are tested to see if they work in vitro (in a test tube)
[2 years]
o 100 compounds tested further for toxicity in vitro [2 years]
o 5 compounds tested further in vivo. Animals then human volunteers. (side
effects) [5 years]
o Extensive Clinical trials in various stages (side effects). [5 years]
o Drug licensed for sale, if safe and effective.
- Tolerance – this is where the body gets used to the drug and more has to be taken
to get the same effect.
- Addiction – this is where the person becomes very dependent on the drug and
they can’t go without it.
- Withdrawal Symptoms – this is when a person sops taking the drug because they
have become addicted to it.
- Rehabilitation – withdrawal symptoms can fade if the drug isn’t taken for 2-3
weeks of rehabilitation. (i.e. restoring to health)

• Withdrawal symptoms: abdominal pains, muscular tremors and sweating.

• Illegal drugs: LSD, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and barbiturates.

- Alcohol affects the nervous system by slowing down reactions and help people
relax, but too much may lead to loss of self-control, unconsciousness or even coma,
eventually damaging the liver and the brain.

• Cirrhosis – this is irreversible damage to the liver caused by excessive drinking

of alcohol. It can lead to liver cancer.
• Tobacco – at least 43 carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals) and at least 3960
other chemicals.
• Tar – a 20 per day smoker might as well drink one cup of tar a year.
• Chemicals in tobacco  Ammonia, ethanol, phenols, nicotine, hexamine, carbon
monoxide, vinyl chloride, nitrobenzene, butane and more…

How did people realise smoking tobacco causes cancer?

During the 1940s and 1950s the number of deaths from lung cancer prompted
scientists to investigate the cause.
Possible causes?
- Pollution?
- Wet tar?
- Smoking?

Sir Richard Doll was commissioned by the Medical Research Council to investigate a
possible link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer.
He visited 2000 people suspected of having lung cancer and found that those who had
the disease were heavy smokers.
Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008

Date What happened?

1954 The Government accepted that there was a strong link between tobacco and
lung cancer.
1970s The link began to be taken more seriously and the media began to discuss it
1990s Until as late as 1997 some people in tobacco companies disputed the link. At
this point they were forced to accept evidence as they were sued by 40 US
states to pay for treatment costs.
2000s It is now an accepted fact that smoking increases risk of lung cancer. The
number of smokers in England has now fallen (80% of men smoked in 1950
compared to 30% now)

Topic 11.3 continued …

- Analyse and discuss Thalidomide as an example of lapses in the drug testing
process, demonstrating your understanding of what should have been done instead.
- Interpret figures to explain that legal drugs have a wider impact on the
population, as a whole, than illegal drugs.
- Describe the nature of addiction because of way drugs change the chemical
processes in peoples’ bodies. Relate this to problems of withdrawal.
- Explain why tobacco causes harm to adults and unborn children.
- Recall that alcohol depresses the nervous system, which can help people relax but
can also lead to lack of self-control, unconsciousness and coma whilst also having
long term affects on the liver and brain.

Topic 11.4 – What causes infectious diseases and how can

our bodies defend themselves against them?

- Recall the three types of micro-organism as virus, bacteria and fungi and that
disease causing strains of each are called pathogens.
- Explain how our bodies are perfect hosts for microbes and as such they invade us
and reproduce rapidly. This may cause harm by the production of toxins and the
death of cells in which viruses reproduce.
 We are warm (37 Degrees C).
 We are moist.
 We have sugars on the surface of our cells (providing food).
- Describe the three ways in which the white blood cells in the body can defend
against microbial attack; ingestion of pathogens and by production of antibodies
and antitoxins.
Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
 Antibodies – These are ‘things’ which white blood cells release so
that it ‘clips’ onto the antigens of the pathogen and destroys it.
 Antitoxins – These are ‘things’ which white blood cells release so
that it neutralises the toxins that the pathogens are releasing.
- Understand the different ways of treating infection: painkillers, antibiotics and
- Explain why viruses are hard to treat without causing damage to body tissue and
how antibiotics will not kill them.
- Explain that MRSA is a strain of bacteria which has developed resistance, via
natural selection, to antibiotics and argue why the population must, therefore, not
indulge in the overuse of antibiotics.
- Describe how injection of dead or inactive forms of a virus can make somebody
immune, with the MMR jab as an example of this.

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
Infectious diseases:
How can spread of disease be prevented?
- Good hygiene (washing hands)
- Sterilization (radiation/heat)
- Antiseptic (for living tissue)
- Disinfectant (for non-living tissue)
- Vaccination
- Good diet
- Quarantine

Ignaz Semmelweis
He noticed that in a normal hospital, where doctors delivered babies, the
mortality rate was higher (10%) compared to in a maternity hospital where maternity
nurses delivered babies (1%).

Possible explanations to this, included:

- Doctors were bad at delivering babies
- Maternity nurses were amazing at delivering babies
- There is something different in the way each group do it

He observed that after performing an operation in one area of the hospital

they walked straight into the maternity ward to deliver babies. He concluded that
there was something on the hands of the doctors from the previous operation that
was infecting the mothers.

So he made the doctors wash their hands with cobalt chloride solution.
This killed the microbes and halted infection.

Definition: These are chemicals that destroy bacteria but don’t kill human cells.
For example: Penicillin -> prevents bacteria making their cell walls

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)

- MRSA is a bacteria.
- It is found in human skin.
- It causes:
o Skin infections
o Boils
o Abscesses
o Septicaemia
o Meningitis
o Pneumonia (lung infection)

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
- Why is it worse in hospitals?
o People have open wounds
o People have weakened immune systems
o Doctors/nurses carry it from one person to another
- Prevention:
o Use antiseptics to kill MRSA
o Wear gloves if you are a doctor

What are the different types of immunity?

- Natural Passive
o Mother to child through placenta or milk
- Natural Active
o Occurs during infection. It is active because your body fights an invading
pathogen with antibodies
- Artificial Passive
o Used during potentially fatal diseases. Injection of readymade antibodies
provides an instant temporary response. Eg tetanus and rabies
- Artificial Active
o Injecting or taking dead pathogens by mouth. Takes time for white blood
cells to be activated but gives long lasting immunity

MMR Vaccine
- Mumps
o Pathogen = virus
o Symptoms = swollen face, fever, difficulty swallowing
o Severity = can cause deafness and meningitis in few cases
- Measles
o Pathogen = virus
o Symptoms = distinctive red-brown spots, fever, coughing
o Severity = can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis in a few cases. This can
be lethal
- Rubella (German measles)
o Pathogen = virus
o Symptoms = distinctive pink rash and fever
o Severity = rubella during pregnancy can cause defects to develop in the
unborn baby

*In 1988 all three vaccines were combined and named, the triple MMR*

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
Autism and the triple MMR jab
In 1998, a publication in a well respected journal claimed that there was a link between
autism and the triple MMR jab.

Autism – A condition in which individuals have impaired social interaction and

communication skills
The consequences of the report:
- Parents refused to have their children vaccinated
- Parents with autistic children blamed the MMR jab
- Incidence of MMR jab

Problems with Dr. Wakefield’s findings?

- They only made connection with 12 people
- 11 out of 12 were boys
- Nothing had been proven
- Japanese study with 30,000 children found no link
- More cases of MMR due to less people vaccinated
- Increase of autism due to more cases being correctly diagnosed
- The Lancet has publically stated that had it known all the facts, it wouldn’t have
published the article.

Pandemics and Epidemics

Diseases can spread very rapidly through a population that is not immune to the
pathogen that causes the disease.

Pandemic – Disease that has spread across the globe

Epidemic – Disease that is localised

Why do they occur?


Infects new host

Rapidly lots of VIRUS

people get ill Virus is infectious so Virus has time to
in a very short passes onto more hosts multiply
period of time VIRUS
White blood cells
have no memory of it

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
How can we prevent them?
- Isolation
o This is so that the disease can’t spread
- International groups
o Who can coordinate activities to prevent spread
- Researchers
o With the task of making a vaccine as quickly as possible
- Stock piles of Vaccines for smallpox
o Smallpox is used as a terrorist threat
- Education
o About transmission of disease
- Kill infected animals
o This is so that the disease can’t spread

Topic 11.5 – What determines where a particular species live

and how many of them there are

- Understand that to survive, organisms need a supply of materials from their

surroundings and other living organisms

What do organisms need from their environment?

 Water
 Plants need light for photosynthesis
 Shelter
 Oxygen (not all)
 Nutrition
 Correct range of temperature

Adaptations include:
 Water – chemical reactions take place in water
 Temperature – enzymes work best
 Light – energy input for food chains
 Air - respiration

- Suggest factors for which organisms (animals and plants) are competing in a given
- Suggest reasons for distribution of animals and plants in a particular habitat
- Suggest how an organism is adapted to the conditions in which it lives
- Relate features of organisms to their habitat eg. desert or arctic environments
- Interpret specific adaptations of organisms to their environment

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008

Ecology – How living things interact with each other and their environment
Ecosystem – This has two parts
 Habitat – This is the non-living part – It is the place where the organisms
live, and has the right survival conditions (aka environmental factors)
 Community – This is the living part – This has all the plants and animals
that live in the habitat
Biosphere – All the ecosystems put together is the Biosphere
Population – Group of individuals of the same species
Exponential growth – Maximum growth rate

Biotic Factors:

o Competition – light, space, water, soil nutrients, food, mates, nesting sites etc.
o Predation – helpful to catch prey/prey adapted to escape from predator
o Disease – some microbes causes disease eg. parasites lives in a host and gets its
food from the host
o Grazers – aka herbivores/primary consumers
o Decomposers – microbes which release enzymes to break down dead or decaying
material eg. bacteria or fungi
o Effects of humans – eg. problems due to human activity like fishing

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
Year 10
Topic 11.6 – Why are individuals of the same species
different from each other? What new methods do we have
for producing plants and animals with characteristics we


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) – molecule/chemical that stores the genetic instructions

to make an organism
Gene – short length of DNA that codes for one protein
Chromosome – found in the nucleus and made of DNA
Clone – cell or organism that is genetically identical to its parent
Variation – differences between living things
Gametes – sex cells
Genetic Engineering – development and use of procedures to alter the genetic make up
of a cell or organism
Mutation – change in a gene or chromosome which can cause a change in a

Humans have 46 chromosomes which occur in 23 pairs. 22 are matching pairs but the
last pair sometimes doesn’t match.

The characteristics of an organism are determined by both the genes and the

Tissue Culture:

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008

1) Best cow and bull chosen and

they are given fertility
treatment. Gametes are taken
from them.
2) Fertilisation is done in vitro.
3) The undifferentiated calls are
separated after a couple of
rounds of division
4) Hose mothers are prepared
for pregnancy and the embryos
are transplanted.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning...

 Stem cells - identical match to patient (after genetic engineering) to cure their
disease eg. diabetes
 Animals – best animals always produced either for milk or meat, meaning more
 Plants – best plants always produced eg. on grape vines, the grapes will be
resistant to certain diseases of plants
 Ethical issues – many animals slaughtered in the process of researching
 Less genetic variation
 A new disease might wipe out the entire population because they are all not
immune to this disease

Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering...

 Eg. making insulin – quick and cheap on large scale
 “Designer milk” – eg. Tracey the sheep’s milk can be used to treat human lung
disease and cystic fibrosis
 “Designer babies” – one sibling can help another, as their tissue type match
Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
 Ethical issues – who has the right to play God and modify the creations on
 “Designer babies” – is it fair on that child? Living only to keep the other alive?
 Food safety in GM foods – 100% safe?

Genetic Engineering involves changing the genetic material of an organism. You cut the
gene from one organism using enzymes and then transfer it to the cell of a completely
different organism.

Topic 11.7 – Why have some species of plants and animals

died out? How do new species of plants and animals develop?

Evolution – This is the gradual change in heritable traits within a population over many

The theory of Evolution:

All living things which exist today those which are extinct, evolved from simple life
forms which first developed 3 billion years ago. We can study evolution by looking at
the differences and similarities between species.

1) Organisms produce more young than will survive

2) Within any species there is variation
3) There will be competition for limited resources such as food
4) Only those best adapted will survive – ‘survival of the fittest’
5) Those that survive pass on their advantageous characteristics to the next
6) Over time the frequency of the advantageous gene increases in the population
and the population genetic changes
7) If a gene mutation causes an advantage in an organism, there may be a more
rapid change in the species
*Normally, due to a change in the environment*

Fossils as Evidence:

One important piece of evidence for how life has developed on Earth are fossils. The
most common type are formed when parts of the animal of plant are replaced by
minerals as they decay. Some fossils were formed when an organism didn’t decay after
it died.

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
Resistance to antibiotics:

The overuse/misuse of antibiotics has given a rise to bacteria which have developed a
resistance to antibiotics. If an antibiotic doesn’t kill all the bacteria, the surviving
bacteria reproduce and pass on their resistance to the next generation.


Definition : The permanent loss of all members of a species from the face of the


New Reasons for
diseases extinction *Main factor*


Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
Disease – mostly likely to cause extinction on an island as whole species live closely
Competition – due to chance mutation or introduction of alien species
Predators – the appearance of a new predator can cause rapid extinction as they prey
will not be adapted to avoid it. This may be due to the evolution of the predator or

Darwin’s theory:

Why did it take time for the theory to be accepted?

• It opposes God and people were religious then
• Prominent scientists disapproved it
• Didn’t like the idea of being related to monkeys

Jean Baptiste Lamarck:

See separate sheet for the information.
Unit 11.8 – How do humans affect the environment?

Consequences of growth in human population?

 Less land
 Natural forest/ habitat of species lost
 More homeless
 Not enough food
 Overcrowding...

Pollution levels...

 Acid rain
 More pollution
 Global warming
 Deforestation – more pollution
 Rubbish...

Number of other animals...

 Decrease
 Extinction possible – destroying their habitats
 More farm animals to feed the population

Natural resources...

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
 Higher demand
 No space to grow food
 Polluted water
 Forced to look for new resources...


Arable farm – farms that grows crops

Monoculture – one type of crop grown
Biodiversity – number of different plants and animals that can exist within the habitat

What causes water pollution?

 Sewage
 Toxic chemicals
 Fertiliser/Pesticides


This is where the algae on the top of waters (such as rivers and lakes) grow very
quickly because it gets lots of food (from nitrates that run into the waters). The mass
reproduction of algae blocks the sunlight to the plants below and they die because
they can’t photosynthesise. Micro-organisms have enough food and so reproduce
rapidly. They use up all the oxygen dissolved in the water and the fish and other
animals die due to lack of oxygen.

Air pollution – what causes acid rain?

Nitrogen oxides  Nitric acid
Sulphur dioxide  Sulphuric acid

Global warming

The Greenhouse Effect is a natural phenomenon which is essential for maintaining a

temperature on earth that is warm enough for use to live. Carbon dioxide, water and
methane gas trap heat energy from the sun when it is radiated from the earth.

Global warming is an augmentation (increase) of the Greenhouse Effect.

Carbon dioxide
- Burning of fossil fuels
- Deforestation
- Increase in population
Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008
- Cows
- Paddy fields

Indicator Species

Definition: These are organisms that are used by scientists to determine the quality
of a habitat

Future of the Earth...

Sustainable Development – improves the quality of our lives without risking the future
generations to come

An important part of sustainable development is using natural resources wisely. This

means using only what we need and reuse natural resources as much as possible. We
can recycle waste, make our homes more energy efficient and make less use of our

Biology Revision (Year 9/10) 2008