Wilburworld of Science

Disease Detectives
 Unit 1: 
Intro to Disease Detectives
 Unit 2: 
Diagnostic Tools & Techniques
 Unit 3: 
Genetic Diseases / Disorders
 Unit 4: 
The Immune Response & Related Diseases / Disorders
 Unit 5
Infectious Diseases
 Unit 6: 
 Unit 7:
Integrated Case Studies
 Unit 8:
Medical Research & Ethical Debates
     Essentially, this is a pathophysiology course with a detective twist.  It addresses a plethora of diseases/disorders organized into 5 overlapping categories: genetic, immune-related, infectious, cancer and a miscellaneous category that includes diseases/disorders related to drugs, poisons, mechanical and environmental factors. The following connecting concepts will be interwoven throughout the course equipping students with basic understandings to aid them in making informed decisions regarding their lifestyle choices, health care, career options and stances on controversial topics in the future.

  • The science behind diagnostic techniques & implications of results.
  • Current understanding of diseases, prevention and treatment. 
  • Current and future methods in research and biotechnology.
  • Careers in clinical medicine and research.  
  • Bio-ethical debates.  
Which information sources are credible and how can you determine the validity of current scientific findings and their implications?
Essential Questions
How could irresponsible behaviors in this lab, or lack of scientific skills, affect your medical or research results or the safety of yourself and others?
Why do we get sick, what are diseases/disorders, what causes them and how do they relate to homeostasis?
How do medical personnel, including surgeons, avoid confusion when discussing locations on the human body and medical records?
Which are more essential to making a diagnosis - patient histories and symptoms or physical examinations and medical tests?
How do diseases/disorders result in cellular or tissue abnormalities that can be observed by a pathologist using microscopes and special staining techniques?
What molecules are dissolved in our body fluids, how do we detect, separate ad quantify them, and what can they tell us about how our organs are functioning?
How can we visualize the structure of organs inside the body to determine whether or not they are the correct size and shape and if they are functioning properly?
What affect can various types of genetically inherited DNA mutations have on an individual, how do they cause disease and can we fix them?
How can chromosomal or single gene mutations be visualized for diagnosis?
Why is your family history such an important part of your health assessment?
What are antibodies, how do scientists use them to diagnose disease and for biotechnological research?
How does he immune system recognize and respond to foreign invaders or bad "self" cells and how can this knowledge help us diagnose disease/disorder using WBC differentials?
How can a malfunction or overreaction of the immune system cause a disease/disorder?
What is a microorganism, why do some cause disease and not others, and why are some rare while others cause epidemics?
How are pathogens transmitted and how can we prevent that from happening?
Why are some diseases becoming more and more difficult to treat with antibiotics?
What's a vaccine, and how does it keep us from getting sick?  Are they bad for us?
What is cancer and why can't the same treatment be used for all types of cancer?
What is a DNA microchip/microarray technology and why is it so beneficial to so many areas of research including cancer?
How are scientists currently using stem cell and cloning research to benefit us and what potential uses might they have in the future?  
What makes Dr. House so good at "diagnostic medicine"?
If Dr. House is the best, why does he work with a team of doctors?
How does diagnosing and treating a patient relate to the scientific method?
What research should you conduct regarding a career before choosing it?
What types of decisions do you think you may face in your future, that you will now be able to make in a more informed manner after completing this course?
September - 
November - 
December - January