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Cure for Common Cold Close (4th November, 2010)


 

Scientists could soon find a cure for the common cold. Researchers have been trying for decades to help us fight the virus that visits us several times a year and gives us runny noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs and days off work and school. There are hundreds of pills and syrups on the market to help us, but none of them cure our colds. The best treatment to date is to stay indoors, away from people with a cold. However, a new discovery from scientists at Cambridge University could mean the end to our yearly suffering. Researchers at the university’s Medical Research Council lab have found a new way to attack and kill the viruses that infect our cells in the nose, lungs and stomach. Their experiments give a lot of hope that we can boost our body’s natural defences against many viruses.


The research leader, Dr Leo James, believes his team’s discovery is a landmark in keeping us all healthier and protecting us from viruses in the future. He said: “Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections but few anti-viral drugs. Although these are early days…we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple avenues for developing new anti-viral drugs.” These medicines could be on pharmacy shelves within a decade. The researchers hope to start testing drugs on humans within the next three years. Dr James’ discovery will help millions. He acknowledged that while the cold may not be “the biggest killer… most people are likely to be affected”. The research is likely to be a big help in finding cures for more deadly viruses.


WARM-UPS

1. COLDS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about colds. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

cures / virus / runny noses / sneezes / best treatment / new discoveries / viruses / research / protecting us / antibiotics / infections / pharmacy / biggest killers / deadly

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. SYMPTONS: What do you do? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Symptoms

What do you do?

How well does it work?

Runny nose

 

 

Cough

 

 

Sneezing

 

 

Fever

 

 

Headache

 

 

Tiredness

 

 

4. CURES: Students A strongly believe we will have cures for everything one day; Students B strongly believe we won’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. TREATMENTS: Which ones are best? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • Western
  • Chinese
  • herbal
  • homeopathy
  • aromatherapy
  • ayurveda
  • acupuncture
  • mother’s remedies

6. MEDICINE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘medicine’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Scientists have found a cure for the common cold.

T / F

b.

A few pills and syrups on the market already make colds disappear.

T / F

c.

The article says the best treatment for a cold is to stay at home.

T / F

d.

The cure for the cold might lead to cures against other viruses.

T / F

e.

A researcher suggested his discovery was extremely important.

T / F

f.

There are thousands of anti-viral drugs that doctors can use.

T / F

g.

It’s unlikely that the new cure will be ready by 2030.

T / F

h.

The researcher said the common cold was not the biggest killer.

T / F

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

1.

cure

a.

until now

2

pills

b.

many

3.

to date

c.

ample

4.

suffering

d.

lethal

5.

boost

e.

important

6.

landmark

f.

treatment

7.

plenty of

g.

inside

8.

multiple

h.

pain

9.

within

i.

increase

10.

deadly

j.

tablets

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

trying for decades to help

a.

syrups on the market

2

gives us runny noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs

b.

to be affected

3.

hundreds of pills and

c.

viral drugs

4.

the end to our

d.

against many viruses

5.

boost our body’s natural defences

e.

us fight the virus

6.

his team’s discovery is a landmark in

f.

infections

7.

antibiotics to fight bacterial

g.

the next three years

8.

multiple avenues for developing new anti-

h.

and days off work

9.

start testing drugs on humans within

i.

yearly suffering

10.

most people are likely

j.

keeping us all healthier

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Scientists could ____________ find a cure for the common cold. Researchers have been trying for ____________ to help us fight the virus that visits us several times a year and gives us ____________ noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs and days off work and school. There are hundreds of pills and syrups on the market to help us, but none of them cure our colds. The best treatment to ____________ is to stay indoors, away from people with a cold. However, a new discovery from scientists at Cambridge University could ____________ the end to our yearly suffering. Researchers at the university’s Medical Research Council ____________ have found a new way to attack and kill the viruses that infect our cells in the nose, ____________ and stomach. Their experiments give a lot of hope that we can ____________ our body’s natural defences against many viruses.

 

 

 

lab
date
decades
boost
soon
lungs
mean
runny

The research leader, Dr Leo James, believes his team’s ____________ is a landmark in keeping us all ____________ and protecting us from viruses in the future. He said: “Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to ____________ bacterial infections but ____________ anti-viral drugs. Although these are early days…we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple avenues for ____________ new anti-viral drugs.” These medicines could be on pharmacy shelves within a decade. The researchers hope to start testing drugs on humans ____________ the next three years. Dr James’ discovery will help millions. He acknowledged that ____________ the cold may not be “the biggest killer… most people are likely to be affected”. The research is likely to be a big help in finding cures for more ____________ viruses.

 

 

few
while
healthier
deadly
developing
discovery
within
fight

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists could ______________________ common cold. Researchers have been trying for decades to help us fight the virus that visits us several times a year and gives us runny noses, ______________________ days off work and school. There are hundreds of pills and syrups on the market to help us, but none of them cure our colds. The best ______________________ to stay indoors, away from people with a cold. However, a new discovery from scientists at Cambridge University could mean ______________________ suffering. Researchers at the university’s Medical Research Council lab have found a new way to attack ______________________ infect our cells in the nose, lungs and stomach. Their experiments give a lot of hope that we can ______________________ defences against many viruses.

The research leader, Dr Leo James, ________________________ is a landmark in keeping us all healthier and ______________________ in the future. He said: “Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections ______________________. Although these are early days…we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple avenues for developing new anti-viral drugs.” These medicines could ______________________ within a decade. The researchers hope to start testing drugs on humans within the next three years. Dr James’ discovery will help millions. He acknowledged that ______________________ be “the biggest killer… most people are likely to be affected”. The research is likely to be a big help in finding cures ______________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘common’ and ‘cold’.

common

cold

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

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

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • soon
  • sniffs
  • none
  • stay
  • way
  • boost
  • landmark
  • plenty
  • early
  • decade
  • millions
  • deadly

STUDENT COLDS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about colds in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

COLDS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘cold’?

c)

How often do you catch a cold?

d)

What’s the best remedy for a cold?

e)

Will this new cure change your life much?

f)

What’s the worst thing about a cold?

g)

Do you always take the day off if you have a cold?

h)

Can you do things to prevent colds?

I)

Do you believe you can catch a cold by walking in the rain?

j)

What medicines do you take for a cold?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How big a discovery do you think this is?

c)

What benefits will a cure for the common cold have on society?

d)

Do you think we will ever be totally protected from viruses?

e)

What’s the difference between bacterial infections and viral infections?

f)

What’s the maximum you’d pay for a cold cure?

g)

Should Dr Leo James get the Nobel Prize for medicine?

h)

Do you think this is the beginning of the end of all viruses?

I)

What three adjectives would you use to describe this article?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr Leo James?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists could soon find a cure for (1) ____ common cold. Researchers have been trying for decades to help us fight the virus that visits (2) ____ several times a year and gives us runny noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs and days off work and school. There are hundreds of pills and syrups (3) ____ the market to help us, but none of them cure our colds. The best treatment (4) ____ date is to stay indoors, away from people with a cold. However, a new discovery from scientists at Cambridge University could mean the end to our (5) ____ suffering. Researchers at the university’s Medical Research Council lab have found a new way to attack and kill the viruses that infect our cells in (6) ____ nose, lungs and stomach. Their experiments give a lot of hope that we can boost our body’s natural defences against many viruses.

The research leader, Dr Leo James, believes his team’s discovery is a (7) ____ in keeping us all healthier and protecting us from viruses in the future. He said: “Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections but (8) ____ anti-viral drugs. Although these are early days…we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple (9) ____ for developing new anti-viral drugs.” These medicines could be on pharmacy shelves within a decade. The researchers hope to start testing drugs (10) ____ humans within the next three years. Dr James’ discovery will help millions. He acknowledged that (11) ____ the cold may not be “the biggest killer… most people are likely to be affected”. The research is (12) ____ to be a big help in finding cures for more deadly viruses.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

that

(b)

the

(c)

a

(d)

my

2.

(a)

them

(b)

patients

(c)

us

(d)

doctors

3.

(a)

on

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

into

4.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

on

(d)

to

5.

(a)

years

(b)

year

(c)

yearly

(d)

years’

6.

(a)

the

(b)

that

(c)

a

(d)

my

7.

(a)

landmine

(b)

landline

(c)

landlord

(d)

landmark

8.

(a)

numerous

(b)

few

(c)

quantities

(d)

volumes

9.

(a)

streets

(b)

boulevards

(c)

expressways

(d)

avenues

10.

(a)

in

(b)

by

(c)

on

(d)

to

11.

(a)

when

(b)

while

(c)

what

(d)

whichever

12.

(a)

likely

(b)

liked

(c)

likeable

(d)

liking

WRITING

Write about colds for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

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 out more about colds. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. COLDS: Make a poster about colds. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CURE: Write a magazine article about the cure for the common cold. Include imaginary interviews with the researcher and an everyday person.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the person who found the cure for the common cold. Ask him/her three questions about colds. Give him/her three ways in which the cure will change people’s lives. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

cure

a.

treatment

2

pills

b.

tablets

3.

to date

c.

until now

4.

suffering

d.

pain

5.

boost

e.

increase

6.

landmark

f.

important

7.

plenty of

g.

ample

8.

multiple

h.

many

9.

within

I.

inside

10.

deadly

j.

lethal

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

trying for decades to help

a.

us fight the virus

2

gives us runny noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs

b.

and days off work

3.

hundreds of pills and

c.

syrups on the market

4.

the end to our

d.

yearly suffering

5.

boost our body’s natural defences

e.

against many viruses

6.

his team’s discovery is a landmark in

f.

keeping us all healthier

7.

antibiotics to fight bacterial

g.

infections

8.

multiple avenues for developing new anti-

h.

viral drugs

9.

start testing drugs on humans within

I.

the next three years

10.

most people are likely

j.

to be affected

GAP FILL:

Cure for common cold close

Scientists could soon find a cure for the common cold. Researchers have been trying for decades to help us fight the virus that visits us several times a year and gives us runny noses, sniffs, sneezes, coughs and days off work and school. There are hundreds of pills and syrups on the market to help us, but none of them cure our colds. The best treatment to date is to stay indoors, away from people with a cold. However, a new discovery from scientists at Cambridge University could mean the end to our yearly suffering. Researchers at the university’s Medical Research Council lab have found a new way to attack and kill the viruses that infect our cells in the nose, lungs and stomach. Their experiments give a lot of hope that we can boost our body’s natural defences against many viruses.

The research leader, Dr Leo James, believes his team’s discovery is a landmark in keeping us all healthier and protecting us from viruses in the future. He said: “Doctors have plenty of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections but few anti-viral drugs. Although these are early days…we are excited that our discoveries may open multiple avenues for developing new anti-viral drugs.” These medicines could be on pharmacy shelves within a decade. The researchers hope to start testing drugs on humans within the next three years. Dr James’ discovery will help millions. He acknowledged that while the cold may not be “the biggest killer… most people are likely to be affected”. The research is likely to be a big help in finding cures for more deadly viruses.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - b

2 - c

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - a

7 - d

8 - b

9 - d

10 - c

11 - b

12 - a

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