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Viruses and Bacteria…

What exactly is a virus? How does it differ from bacteria?

Bacteria and viruses can cause many diseases, but the distinction between the two forms of microbes is often vague and confused.

One of the main differences is the size. Compared bacteria, viruses are normally much smaller in size. The largest viruses are about the same size as the smallest bacteria.

One other striking difference is in the structure of the two types of microbes. Bacteria are complex structures, compared with viruses.

The structure of a single bacterium consists of a rigid cell, and a thin flexible membrane, which surrounds the cytoplasm, a fluid within the cell. A single bacterium has all the genetic data, the DNA, required to copy itself. This information databank is contained within the chromosome. There are other tiny portions of DNA, called plasmids which float around in the cytoplasm. To maintain the degree of complexity, there are also working tools, called ribosomes, which are essential for the bacteria to reproduce.

By comparison, a virus has a protein coat and a central core of DNA or RNA, the genetic material needed for reproduction. Sometimes it has an outer spiky layer called the envelope.

Two types of viruses

In comparison to bacteria, which have all the genetic blueprint and tools required to reproduce themselves, a virus needs to invade other cells in order to reproduce.

A hole is cut in the cell wall. The virus then injects its genetic material into the host cell. It then uses the hosts genetic machinery and instructs it to make new parts of the virus. These parts are then assembled together to form new viruses.

Here is an animated version of the sequence of events….

Now the really bad news occurs! These viruses can then break out of the host cell and each one can invade another new host cell. In this way the virus can replicate itself in increasing quantities every hour. Multiplication combines with a cascade effect, and an exponential rise of viruses.

Procedures in Science ……

Updates and reminders about science procedures (behaviour management) are given below:


Investigating Wind-Powered Generators

 Year 10 Students investigate the operation of wind-powered generators, as part of their GCSE Science course.

Environmental, economic, social, and cultural aspects are considered….

 More images are located on our Image Gallery

power1.jpg power2.jpg  power5.jpg

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More images are located on our Image Gallery

Interactive Science Websites

The Virtual Body

BBC Science Clips 

Solar System (BBC)




Schemes of Work……Year 11

Please send me your schemes of work by e-mail.
They will be uploaded to www.webucate.org

All lesson for a topic will be zipped before uploading to webucate
….to save you time in downloading each separate file/lesson.

The latest files, submitted by Amy andTracey, are now online at http://www.webucate.org/ourgallery/thumbnails.php?album=73

Martyn…… http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjovery/


Revision activities (GCSE:Physics)

 The first FIVE activities are now o­nline for students

Physics Topics  (Focus o­n : Heat Transfer and Renewable Energy)

Heat Transfer (Cloze Test)www.planetscience.org/revisiontime/heattransfer.htm

Heat Transfer (Crossword)


Heat Transfer ( The Vacuum Flask: Multiple Choice)


Renewable Energy


Electromagnetic Waves (Drag and Drop)