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Date: April 23, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:39 - 193.7 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Scientists in America have succeeded in making mice hibernate, just like squirrels in winter. A technique was used to slow down the metabolism of the mice to ten percent of its normal rate. Their breathing went from 120 breaths per minute to fewer than ten. Body temperature also fell from 37 to 11 degrees Centigrade. The mice awoke without having any side effects. Researchers believe this technique of “hibernation on demand” could one day improve the treatment of disease in humans. It could even put astronauts to sleep for long journeys to other planets. Mark Roth, researcher at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, says this is not science fiction: “it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time.” Testing on humans starts in five years’ time. If the tests are successful, there will be great benefits. Patients waiting for organ transplants or experiencing severe blood loss will have more time if they are put into hibernation. The treatment could also help prevent deaths from cardiac arrest and cancer.

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about: hibernation / mice / squirrels / metabolism / breathing / sleep / voyages to other planets / science fiction / medicine… For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. SCIENCE FICTION BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with science fiction. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. SPACE JOURNEY: Students A have spent five years on a space rocket to Saturn, half spent in hibernation. They loved rocket life (and hibernation). Get together and discuss all the great things you experienced. Students B are simple humans and want to know all about life on the rocket. Make a list of questions for the students who lived on the rocket. Students A and B pair up and talk about the journey into space.

4. ANIMAL FUNCTIONS: Hibernation is important for many animals. Which of the following animal abilities would you like too have?

hibernation / living as long as tortoises (150 years) / the sonar of a bat / the speed of a cheetah / the hearing of a dog / flight / breathing underwater like fish / changing colors like a chameleon / others?

5. THE FUTURE: What will the future be like? Look at the following list. Think about how possible you think each item is. When will it happen? What will be the benefits? Talk with your partner and see if he/she agrees with you. Change partners and repeat the activity, using the ideas you previously heard and talked about.

DISCOVERY

  1. Downloading skills into directly the brain (like in the Matrix movies)
  2. Cars that can fly though the air.
  3. Backpack jets that allow us to fly.
  4. A cure for all diseases.
  5. Time travel
  6. Living on other planets
  7. Being able to live to be 200 years old
  8. Artificial intelligence
  9. Cloning to bring back dinosaurs
  10. World’s energy needs provided by air and water

POSSIBILITY

  • Never
  • Not in my lifetime
  • By the end of the century
  • No time soon
  • Within the next fifty years
  • Before the decade’s out
  • One day
  • I’ll live to see it

 


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘science’ and ‘fiction’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Scientists have successfully put a man into hibernation.  T / F
  2. The body temperature of a mouse fell to below freezing.  T / F
  3. One day, astronauts could be put to sleep for long voyages into space.  T / F
  4. Humans may have an unused ability to hibernate.  T / F
  5. Hospital patients will be able to buy time using their credit cards.  T / F
  6. Testing on humans starts in five years’ time.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

just like

negative

(b)

slow down

in the future

(c)

fell

reduce

(d)

side

basically

(e)

one day

the same as

(f)

in short

extreme

(g)

severe

cardiac arrest

(h)

cardiac arrest

dropped

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

Scientists in America

per minute

(b)

slow down

in five years’ time

(c)

120 breaths

transplants

(d)

side

the metabolism

(e)

long journeys to

deaths from cardiac arrest

(f)

Testing on humans starts

have succeeded

(g)

organ

other planets

(h)

help prevent

effects

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. QUIZ READ: Test your general knowledge and common sense. Circle which word you think is correct from the words in bold:

Hibernation on demand

Scientists in America have succeeded in making mice / elephants hibernate, just like squirrels in winter. A technique was used to slow down the digestion /metabolism of the mice to ten percent of its normal rate. Their breathing went from 120 breaths per minute to fewer than ten. Body temperature also fell from 37 to 11 degrees Centigrade. The mice awoke without having any front / side effects. Researchers believe this technique of “hibernation on demand” could one day / minute improve the treatment of disease in humans. It could even put astronauts to sleep for long journeys to other suburbs / planets. Mark Roth, researcher at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, says this is not science fiction: “it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in long / short, be able to buy patients time.” Testing on humans starts in five years’ time. If the tests are successful, there will be great benefits. Patients waiting for piano / organ transplants or experiencing severe blood loss will have more time if they are put into hibernation. The treatment could also help prevent deaths from cardiac / police arrest and cancer.

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS: Check your answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. QUIZ READ: Check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Each student surveys class members independently and reports back to their original partner/ group to compare their findings.

5. ‘SCIENCE’ / ‘FICTION’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Was there something you read that excited you?
  3. What do you think of the research in the article?
  4. Do you like science fiction?
  5. Do you think science fiction always becomes science fact?
  6. Is human hibernation a good idea?
  7. Would you like to hibernate for the weekend or the winter?
  8. Would you like to go on a long space voyage?
  9. Do you think hibernation for humans is dangerous?
  10. What animals do you know of that hibernate?
  11. Do you think we will be able to copy all animal skills?
  12. Are you interested in medicine and scientific research?
  13. Would you volunteer to test hibernation in humans?
  14. What do you think medicine will be like fifty years from now?
  15. How could hibernation be useful in our everyday lives?
  16. Would you like to be a scientist?
  17. Did you like this discussion?
  18. Teacher / Student additional questions.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on animals that hibernate. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. HIBER-SALON: It is the year 2030. You are the owner of a hibernation salon. It is the latest fashion. Write an advertisement explaining the services and benefits of your hiber-salon. Try to “sell” your salon in your next class.

4. 2100: Write an article about how technology in the year 2100 will make our daily lives different from today. Compare your ideas with your classmates in your next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Scientists have successfully put a man into hibernation.  F
  2. The body temperature of a mouse fell to below freezing.  F
  3. One day, astronauts could be put to sleep for long voyages into space.  T
  4. Humans may have an unused ability to hibernate.  T
  5. Hospital patients will be able to buy time using their credit cards.  F
  6. Testing on humans starts in five years’ time.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

just like

the same as

(b)

slow down

reduce

(c)

fell

dropped

(d)

side

negative

(e)

one day

in the future

(f)

in short

basically

(g)

severe

extreme

(h)

cardiac arrest

heart attack

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

Scientists in America

have succeeded

(b)

slow down

the metabolism

(c)

120 breaths

per minute

(d)

side

effects

(e)

long journeys to

other planets

(f)

Testing on humans starts

in five years’ time

(g)

organ

transplants

(h)

help prevent

deaths from cardiac arrest

QUIZ READ:

Hibernation on demand

Scientists in America have succeeded in making mice hibernate, just like squirrels in winter. A technique was used to slow down the metabolism of the mice to ten percent of its normal rate. Their breathing went from 120 breaths per minute to fewer than ten. Body temperature also fell from 37 to 11 degrees Centigrade. The mice awoke without having any side effects. Researchers believe this technique of “hibernation on demand” could one day improve the treatment of disease in humans. It could even put astronauts to sleep for long journeys to other planets. Mark Roth, researcher at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, says this is not science fiction: “it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time.” Testing on humans starts in five years’ time. If the tests are successful, there will be great benefits. Patients waiting for organ transplants or experiencing severe blood loss will have more time if they are put into hibernation. The treatment could also help prevent deaths from cardiac arrest and cancer.

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