The Human Body
What Effect does Air Pollution have on Asthma?
Laser Eye Surgery
Phytochemicals and a Healthy Diet
Investigating Disease and Prevention
WHAT EFFECT DOES AIR POLLUTION HAVE ON ASTHMA?
Do you or someone you know have asthma? What is it? What causes this disease? Some think that increased levels of air pollution are responsible for increasing numbers of asthma sufferers.
In this WebQuest you’ll find out the answers to these questions and also do some research into the debate about what may be causing increased incidents of asthma.
Your job in this WebQuest is to develop an educated opinion as to whether or not air pollution causes higher rates of asthma. You’ll need to learn what asthma really is – and what
it isn’t. You’ll also need to find out the difference between an asthma cause and a trigger, and the factors that are involved in the development of asthma, such as smoking and genetic
predisposition. And you’ll look at evidence that may link increased levels of air pollution with increased numbers of asthma cases in a population.
Once you’ve done your research and formed your opinion, you’ll create a project that will reflect your opinion. It will be developed and presented from the perspective of a specific
member of society, such as doctor, parent, researcher, member of industry, etc.
Your project may be an informational brochure or multimedia presentation. It should present your opinion and be delivered from the perspective you’ve chosen, keeping your specific
audience in mind. Your goal is to convince them that your conclusion is correct, and to encourage them to take appropriate action.
- What is the difference between asthma and allergies?
Background on Asthma:
Allergy Facts Quiz:
Indoor Air Pollution:
Outdoor Air and Health:
Recognizing Asthma Symptoms
Indoor Asthma Triggers:
Reducing Air Pollution:
Where does this Internet research lead you? Once you’ve done your research, decide what you think about this issue. Do you think that increased levels of air pollution cause higher
rates of asthma?
Choose a perspective from which to develop your presentation. This perspective may be that of a doctor, parent, student, member of industry, researcher, or another that you decide
upon. Remember that there is a specific audience for each of these perspectives, and your job is to inform this audience. For example, a parent may be concerned either that their child
may develop asthma from air pollution in the school and surrounding areas, or that there is unnecessary money being spent on reducing indoor air pollutants that are not a health hazard.
The parent’s audience might be parents of their students’ classmates or members of the local school board. An industry representative’s audience may be members of the community or
local government officials.
Developing Your Presentation
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve not only become informed about asthma, you have developed important critical thinking skills. You have learned that there are often
many factors involved in an issue and how to examine these different aspects. You have read information to answer key questions about a topic, and you have formed your own educated
opinion. You’ve also learned about writing persuasively in order to convince your audience, and put that to work by creating your own presentation. These skills will serve you well
as you form opinions on other issues in the future. Congratulations on a highly productive endeavor!
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LASER EYE SURGERY
Suppose you are watching television one day and notice that you have to squint to see the screen clearly. You decide to visit an optometrist for a vision screening.
After the screening, the optometrist tells you that you have a vision problem called myopia – nearsightedness. Does this mean you will have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses in
order to see? In the past, the answer to your question would have been yes. However, there is another option that you may decide is a better alternative than wearing corrective lenses:
laser eye surgery. You may have noticed printed advertisements and television commercials that advertise a type of laser eye surgery called LASIK. What is laser eye surgery? Can laser
eye surgery correct myopia? Is laser eye surgery something that you should have done to correct your vision problem?
Your job in this WebQuest is to learn all about laser eye surgery. You will learn what types of vision problems can be corrected by laser eye surgery. You will explore
the many different types of laser eye surgery and identify the ones that are used to correct myopia. Because not every patient is a candidate for laser eye surgery, you will determine
if you are a potential candidate for this type of vision correction. You will also find out about the advantages and disadvantages of laser eye surgery. Finally, you will answer a
set of questions to demonstrate what you have learned about laser eye surgery, and make a decision about whether or not you would choose to have this surgery.
Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will enable you to answer questions about laser eye surgery.
- Laser Eye Surgery: Is it worth looking into?
Visit this site to read an article from the FDA Consumer Magazine about laser eye surgery to correct vision problems. The site includes a description of how vision works, and a description of both laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgeries. Scroll down to learn who is a candidate for laser eye surgery and for answers to frequently asked questions about these procedures. This is an excellent, comprehensive, and unbiased site.
- Comprehensive Info on LASIK and Other Vision Surgery Techniques.
At this site you can learn all about the various types of surgery available to correct vision problems. Scroll down and click on types of corrective surgery to read about flap procedures such as LASIK, LASEK, and ALK; photoablation procedures such as PRK; and corneal incision procedures such as RK, HK, and AK. Each procedure is covered in detail at this site.
- The LASIK Procedure.
Go to this site for a basic description of the LASIK eye surgery. Scroll down and click on detailed description to see photos of this procedure.
- National Eye Institute.
At this site you can find information on eye diseases, and eye care resources. Although it doesn’t discuss laser eye surgery directly, it does have diagrams and information on vision and vision problems.
- LASIK Institute.
Visit this site to find out more about laser eye surgery, particularly LASIK surgery. This site provides patients with detailed information on laser eye surgery. It also provides information for surgeons and researchers.
- LASIK Eye Surgery: What is LASIK?
Go to this Food and Drug Administration (FDA) site for information on the eye and vision errors and to learn about the types of surgery to correct those errors. In the menu bar at the top of the page, click on when is LASIK not for me to find out who is not a candidate for this type of surgery.
- Introduction to Refractive Errors.
At this site by the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute you can find out what causes vision errors and how laser surgery can correct these errors.
1 class period for research and answering the set of questions
Read through the following set of questions before you begin your Internet research. As you explore each site, look for answers to the questions.
Questions about Laser Eye Surgery
- What common vision problems can be corrected using laser eye surgery?
- What type of laser is used in laser eye surgery?
- What do the letters LASIK stand for? What do the letters PRK stand for?
- What kinds of vision problems can be corrected by LASIK surgery? By PRK surgery?
- Who should NOT have laser eye surgery?
- Suppose you have myopia. Explain why you would, or would not, choose to have laser eye surgery in order to correct your vision problem. Use information from your Internet research to support your position.
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become familiar with the types of vision problems that can be corrected with laser eye surgery, and become informed
about the types of laser eye surgery available. You have learned about both LASIK and PRK procedures in particular, and have identified who might be candidates for such surgeries.
You have developed research skills as you explored the web sites given and identified the relevant information to answer the set of questions above. Did your research convince you
that laser eye surgery is an effective treatment for vision problems? If you have vision problems that can be corrected through laser eye surgery, would you choose this form of treatment?
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PHYTOCHEMICALS AND A HEALTHY DIET
Do you like broccoli and cauliflower? Do you eat carrots and peas? Perhaps you drink orange or grapefruit juice for breakfast every day, or eat an apple at lunchtime. Fruits and vegetables
such as these are essential to a healthy diet, yet many people do not eat enough of these natural foods. There is mounting evidence that eating a well-rounded diet, consisting of several
servings of fruits and vegetables every day, can reduce the effects of aging, and help to prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The chemicals that occur naturally
in plants, such as fruits and vegetables, are called phytochemicals. You may have seen television commercials that discuss the health benefits of taking supplements that contain
lutein and capsaicin, two types of phytochemicals. What are phytochemicals exactly? What foods contain important phytochemicals? Do you have to eat broccoli to obtain its healthful
phytochemicals, or can you benefit equally by taking a pill that contains those phytochemicals? In this WebQuest, you’ll learn the answers to these questions as you explore the nature
Your job in this WebQuest is to learn all about the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, and the benefits of eating these foods as part of a balanced diet. You will discover
what phytochemicals have been studied scientifically, and what these research studies have discovered. You will learn about the different phytochemicals that can be found in natural
foods, and the health benefits of each type. You will fill in a table in which ten different foods or groups of foods are listed. For each food or group of food, you will list the
important phytochemical(s) each contains, and the health benefits of eating that food. Finally, you will answer a few questions about phytochemicals to demonstrate what you have learned
in your Internet research.
Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will enable you to complete your table on phytochemicals and answer a few questions.
- Position: Phytochemicals and functional
foods. Visit this site by the American Dietetic Association to read an excellent paper about the benefits of phytochemicals in the diet. The article discusses some of the
phytochemicals in foods such as broccoli, onions, garlic, and soybeans that have been shown in scientific studies to have an impact on cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and
- Phytochemicals – Vitamins of the
Future? Visit this Ohio State University site to learn more about the use of phytochemicals to combat many types of cancer. The American Cancer Society suggests that people
eat mostly plant foods to combat cancer rather than animal-based foods. At this site you can see a list of foods and the phytochemicals they contain.
- Phytochemicals and
Cardiovascular Disease. Go to this site by the American Heart Association to find out what phytochemicals are being used to treat heart disease. The Association recommends
that people eat more fruits and vegetables to obtain the optimum benefits from a healthy diet.
- The Phytochemical Collection. Visit this site by Florida State University for a brief history of the importance of including fruits and vegetables in the diet. Scroll down to see a listing of phytochemicals
that have been shown scientifically to combat diseases.
- What are the benefits of Vitamins
and Phytochemicals? Go to this site to read about the general health benefits that are associated with vitamins and phytochemicals. Scroll down to phytochemicals to find
out the difference between garlic supplements and natural garlic.
- Phytochemicals: Guardians of Our Health. At this site you can read about the anticancer potential of foods such as garlic, soybeans, cabbage, ginger, licorice, and carrots. Scroll down to read about the health benefits
of soy, citrus fruits, and whole grains.
1 class period for research, filling in the table, and answering a few questions.
Now that you have completed your research on phytochemicals, prepare a table like the one below with the information that you have gathered about the foods listed. For each food or
group of foods, list the phytochemicals they contain, then list the health benefits of the phytochemicals or the diseases that those phytochemicals can be used to treat. You will need
to look at all of the web sites listed in order to complete the table. Once the table has been filled in, answer the questions that follow.
Table 1. Phytochemicals and a Healthy Diet
|Food||Phytochemical(s) ||Health Benefit/Disease Treated|
|Broccoli, cauliflower || || |
| || |
|Onions|| || |
|Citrus fruits|| || |
|Tomatoes, peppers|| || |
|Grapes, berries, cherries, apples, cantaloupes|| || |
|Soybeans, beans, oats, seeds, whole grains, brown rice|| || |
|Licorice root, green tea|| || |
| || |
Questions about Phytochemicals and a Healthy Diet
- Scientific studies have shown that phytochemicals are associated with prevention and treatment of four leading causes of death in the United States. What are they?
- Many vegetables are prepared by cooking, such as broccoli and cauliflower. Does cooking destroy the phytochemicals found in these foods?
- Health food stores already sell some phytochemicals in pill form. Does taking phytochemicals in a pill form provide the same health benefits as eating the food itself?
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you’ve become informed about the importance of including fruits and vegetables in your diet. You have learned what phytochemicals are and
what foods contain important phytochemicals. You have developed critical thinking skills as you explored the health benefits of phytochemicals. To protect yourself from developing
diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease in the future, what changes should you make in your diet today?
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Epidemiology is the study of the causes of diseases. Epidemiologists
are scientists who conduct research into how disease is
spread among populations. Their investigations lead to strategies
for how to control and prevent the spread of illnesses.
Five diseases—cholera, the flu epidemic of the 20th
century, malaria, polio, and smallpox—are among many
diseases that have plagued people for centuries. What different
processes did scientists use to study these five diseases?
What were some of the misconceptions people had about these
diseases before scientists were able to understand their
causes and how to prevent them? In this WebQuest, you will
explore five different diseases that have affected people
throughout history to find the answers to these questions.
You will also create a timeline to describe the history
of one of these diseases and how it impacts worldwide health
Your job in this WebQuest is to learn about diseases that
have affected people for hundreds of years. You will investigate
five different diseases to learn how scientists have worked
to prevent their spread among populations. You will answer
a set of questions about these diseases and their prevention
to demonstrate what you have learned. Once you've conducted
some research to increase your knowledge of these diseases
and their prevention, you'll select one of the diseases
to investigate further. You'll create a timeline that shows
key dates in the study of that disease as well as other
dates and events that occurred during the same period of
time. The purpose of the timeline is to show how scientific
study has led to discoveries that help prevent the spread
of disease. You'll include a description of each date on
the timeline and summarize the current state of prevention
of this disease.
2-3 days to answer the set of questions and produce the
timeline and its descriptions
First, read through the following set of questions before
you begin your Internet research. As you explore each site,
look for answer to the questions.
Questions about Investigating Disease and Prevention
- How did John Snow use maps to study the spread of cholera?
- What were some of the misconceptions people had about
the cause of the flu epidemic of 1918?
- How effective was Jonas Salk’s initial testing
of the polio vaccine?
- What are some strategies used to prevent contracting
- What did Edward Jenner discover about the relationship
between smallpox and cowpox?
Next, visit the Web sites provided below to get more information
about one of the diseases you researched to create a timeline.
Your timeline should include important dates that led to
discoveries about causes of and ways to prevent the disease.
Write a summary about the importance of each date. You should
also include dates and summaries in your timeline for other
relevant historic events of the period. The end of your
timeline should include a description of how the disease
you researched currently affects people around the world.
Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will help you answer questions about different diseases and their prevention, and to gather information to use as you build your timeline.
You may use these resources to help you develop your timeline:
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you've become informed about five different diseases: cholera, the flu epidemic of the 20th century, malaria, polio, and smallpox. You have read information to answer questions about this topic, and have increased your knowledge of how scientists have studied these diseases in the quest to minimize their impact on people and discover effective treatments. You've also used your research skills to create a timeline that describes how one of these diseases has affected people throughout history.
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