• Articles
  • Activities
  • Interactives
  • Videos
  • Teacher PLD
  • Primary
  • Secondary
ARTICLE

The body’s first line of defence

Your body has a two-line defence system against pathogens (germs) that make you sick. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites and fungi. The first line of defence (or outside ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Digestive enzymes

Enzymes are globular proteins that control biological reactions. Digestive enzymes speed up the breakdown (hydrolysis) of food molecules into their ‘building block’ components. These reactions ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Meiosis, inheritance and variation

Although we are all unique, there are often obvious similarities within families. Maybe you have the same nose as your brother or red hair like your mother? Family similarities occur because we ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

The body’s second line of defence

If the pathogens are able to get past the first line of defence, for example, through a cut in your skin, and an infection develops, the second line of defence becomes active. Through a sequence ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

What levers does your body use?

Muscles and bones act together to form levers. A lever is a rigid rod (usually a length of bone) that turns about a pivot (usually a joint). Levers can be used so that a small force can move a ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Positive and negative effects of UV

The Earth’s atmosphere blocks most of the Sun’s UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. The small amount that gets through has both positive and negative effects. Positive ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Energy for exercise

Why is a muscle like a motor bike? Although muscles and engines work in different ways, they both convert chemical energy into energy of motion. A motorbike engine uses the stored energy of ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Food’s journey through the digestive system

A look at the time it takes for food to pass through the gut from mouth to anus. In a healthy adult, transit time is about 24–72 hours. Read the article The human digestive system for further ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Genotype and phenotype

We are all unique. Even monozygotic twins, who are genetically identical, always have some variation in the way they look and act. This uniqueness is a result of the interaction between our ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Meet some muscles

There are over 630 muscles in your body! Here are seven of them: Masseter The masseter runs from the temporal bone (that forms part of the sides and base of the skull) to the lower jaw (the ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

DNA profiling

DNA profiling is the process where a specific DNA pattern, called a profile, is obtained from a person or sample of bodily tissue Even though we are all unique, most of our DNA is actually ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Measuring sound

Sound is a pressure wave caused when something vibrates, making particles bump into each other and then apart. The particles vibrate back and forth in the direction that the wave travels but do ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Macronutrients

Nutrients are substances needed for growth, energy provision and other body functions. Macronutrients are those nutrients required in large amounts that provide the energy needed to maintain body ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Mitochondria – cell powerhouses

Mitochondria are tiny organelles inside cells that are involved in releasing energy from food. This process is known as cellular respiration. It is for this reason that mitochondria are often ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Muscle structure - muscle under the microscope

Does all muscle look the same? If you were to look at skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle using a microscope, you would see differences in their structure. Skeletal muscle Skeletal muscle looks ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Large intestine function

Recent research has revealed that the large intestine and its resident bacterial population have key roles to play in determining our health and wellbeing. It is much more than just a waste ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Impacts of biotechnology on society

Biotechnology has helped improve the quality of people’s lives for over 10,000 years. Today’s biotechnologies vary in application and complexity. However, they all have potential to change our ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Digestion – breaking the large into the small

Digestion of food involves both physical and chemical processes. Through digestion, large food particles are converted into smaller components that can be readily absorbed into the bloodstream. ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

The human digestive system

The human digestive system consists of a long muscular tube and several accessory organs such as the salivary glandspancreas and gall bladder. It is responsible for food ingestion and digestion ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Modern biotechnology

The discovery that genes are made up of DNA and can be isolated, copied and manipulated has led to a new era of modern biotechnology. New Zealand has many applications for modern biotechnologies ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Body systems

A body system is a collection of parts able to work together to serve a common purpose – growth, reproduction and survival. Each part of a system depends on the other parts to perform tasks that ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Rate of digestion

Digestion of food involves chemical reactions that break up large food molecules into their ‘building block’ components. There are a number of factors that affect the rates of these reactions ...

READ MORE
STAR