NIH teacher resources feature rare diseases and evolution

Teachers now have an innovative way to help students approach challenging biology questions with two new free curriculum supplements from the National Institutes of Health: Evolution and Medicine,and Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry. Both supplements inform students about human health, while helping them build their problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Teachers can easily integrate the supplements into their classes' explorations of complex topics such as the need for yearly flu vaccines, the geographical differences in rates of lactose intolerance, pros and cons of clinical trials for kids with cancer, and reasons why certain people contract . These are the latest installments in a popular NIH series aligned with state and national education standards and designed to promote inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning and stimulate student interest in science.

The supplements were developed by leading scientists, educators, and curriculum experts, and combine cutting-edge medical research discoveries with state-of-the-art instructional materials. Each has a self-contained teacher's guide consisting of five lessons on science and human health and including online virtual labs, videos, and simulations. Educators have requested more than 400,000 supplements in the series from NIH, the federal focal point for medical research.

Evolution and Medicine, for grades 9–12,helps students use scientific inquiry in the context of medicine to understand evolutionary principles. Students will learn how evolution is part of our knowledge of human health, biomedical processes, and disease treatment. To request Evolution and Medicine, visit .

"Evolution's signature is written all over our genomes and is manifested throughout our bodies," says Irene Eckstrand, Ph.D., an NIH expert on evolution who helped develop the curriculum. " and Medicine explains the basic principles of evolutionary biology using new and well-researched examples drawn from current medical research."

Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry, for grades 6–8, helps students explore how scientists research rare diseases and treatments and learn more about the workings of the human body. To request Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry, visit .

"The curriculum supplement will raise student awareness of rare diseases, including where to go for accurate information," according to Stephen Groft, Pharm.D., director, Office of Rare Diseases Research, NIH. "We believe that the information provided in Rare Diseases will help eliminate the feeling of isolation and stigmatization felt by many with rare diseases."

Provided by National Institutes of Health

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

5 hours ago

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2011
Seems like the indoctrination is reaching for a stronger foothold in areas where it does not contribute one iota.

Evolution is not required to understand or move medicine forward.

The field of Medicine has developed and grown all by itself - no evolution nonsense required, thank you very much.

So here we have the priests and prophets of evolution hard at work trying to make themselves seem important and actually useful when they are anything but. In fact, I'd say they are interfering with the progress of real, tangible and applied science.

Please spare me the nonsense of saying that because you see some changes at the genetic level in bacteria or some other organisms cell(s) that this is concrete support for molecules-to-man evolution. It's not. All the structures and allowed variability is already in there. If you disagree, please explain why the resistant bacteria didn't change into salamanders, for instance.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2011
...because it would take a billion years and the bacteria would have to fit themselves not only into the ecological niche already occupied by the salamanders (or whatever is in their place in a billion years hence) but also prior to that fit their intermediate forms into ecological niches occupied by a variety of other creatures. In other words, an ancient instance of evolution can't be reproduced in a modern environment. Kevin, you don't know enough about evolution or even biology in general to make cogent arguments against it. Every time you post you stick another dagger into the stinking corpse of creationism.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.