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GM Cows To Produce Human Breast Milk (9th June, 2011)


 

Media reports are saying Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified cows that can produce human milk. A British newspaper says a laboratory in China has introduced human genes into dairy cows to produce milk almost identical to human breast milk. The researchers believe the new GM milk is a healthy alternative to milk powder, which many infant nutritionists say is not so good for babies. Researcher Professor Ning Li addressed people’s concerns that the milk from GM cows could be harmful. He said it would be as safe as milk from ordinary dairy cows. He added the GM milk contains a human protein called lysozyme, which helps to protect babies from infections in the days and weeks after their birth.

Professor Li said the new milk will be on supermarket shelves within ten years. He believes it will be very popular, saying: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.” He spoke about how important his team’s research is. He said: “There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat. It's our duty to develop science and technology, not to hold it back. We need to feed people first, before we consider ideals and convictions.” People on Britain’s Sky News website had differing views. One commented: “It’s totally disgusting. This planet is on a downward spiral into hell.” Another said: “We interfere with nature every time we prevent death by taking engineered drugs. Get used to it.”


WARM-UPS

1. GM MILK: Walk around the class and talk to other students about GM milk. 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.

 

media / cows / milk / laboratory / alternative / milk powder / concerns / infections / supermarket shelves / taste / enough to eat / convictions / totally disgusting / hell

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

3. TECHNOLOGY: Good or bad? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Good (why?)

Bad (why?)

GM food

 

 

Cloning

 

 

Faceplants

 

 

Animal organ transplants for humans

 

 

Selling one’s organs

 

 

Sex changes

 

 

4. GM: Students A strongly believe GM food is good for the human race; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. MILK: What’s best? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • cow’s milk
  • GM milk with added nutrients
  • powdered milk
  • goat’s milk
  • milk shakes
  • longlife milk
  • camel milk
  • hot milk

6. COW: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘cow’. 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.

Cows are to replace humans in providing breast milk for babies.

T / F

b.

Human genes were put into cows to make human breast milk.

T / F

c.

The GM milk will be healthier than powedered milk for babies.

T / F

d.

The new milk will protect newborn babies from infections.

T / F

e.

The milk won’t be on sale for at least a decade.

T / F

f.

Normal milk tastes stronger than the new GM milk.

T / F

g.

A professor said feeding people is more important than opinions.

T / F

h.

Someone said the GM milk was the same as taking illegal drugs.

T / F

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

1.

produce

a.

horrible

2

modified

b.

worries

3.

alternative

c.

safeguard

4.

concerns

d.

inside

5.

protect

e.

altered

6.

within

f.

think about

7.

consider

g.

make

8.

disgusting

h.

stop

9.

interfere

i.

substitute

10.

prevent

j.

meddle

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

1.

cows that can

a.

concerns

2

introduced human genes

b.

from infections

3.

a healthy alternative

c.

people first

4.

addressed people’s

d.

produce human milk

5.

protect babies

e.

enough to eat

6.

the new milk will be on

f.

engineered drugs

7.

don't get

g.

into hell

8.

We need to feed

h.

into dairy cows

9.

on a downward spiral

i.

supermarket shelves

10.

we prevent death by taking

j.

to milk powder

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Media reports are (1) ____________ Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified cows that can produce human milk. A British newspaper says a laboratory in China has introduced human (2) ____________ into dairy cows to produce milk almost identical to human breast milk. The researchers believe the new GM milk is a (3) ____________ alternative to milk powder, which many infant nutritionists say is not so good for babies. Researcher Professor Ning Li (4) ____________ people’s concerns that the milk from GM cows could be (5) ____________. He said it would be as (6) ____________ as milk from ordinary dairy cows. He added the GM milk contains a human (7) ____________ called lysozyme, which helps to protect babies from (8) ____________ in the days and weeks after their birth.

 

 

 

protein
genes
addressed
safe
infections
saying
healthy
harmful

Professor Li said the new milk will be on supermarket (9) ____________ within ten years. He believes it will be very (10) ____________, saying: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.” He spoke about how important his team’s (11) ____________ is. He said: “There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat. It's our (12) ____________ to develop science and technology, not to hold it back. We need to (13) ____________ people first, before we consider ideals and convictions.” People on Britain’s Sky News website had (14) ____________ views. One commented: “It’s totally disgusting. This planet is on a (15) ____________ spiral into hell.” Another said: “We interfere with nature every time we (16) ____________ death by taking engineered drugs. Get used to it.”

 

 

downward
research
differing
duty
shelves
feed
prevent
popular

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

_____________________ Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified cows that can produce human milk. A British newspaper says a laboratory in China has _____________________ into dairy cows to produce milk almost identical to human breast milk. The researchers believe the new GM milk is _____________________ to milk powder, which many infant nutritionists say is not so good for babies. Researcher Professor Ning Li ______________________ that the milk from GM cows could be harmful. He said it would be _____________________ ordinary dairy cows. He added the GM milk contains a human protein called lysozyme, which helps to protect babies from _____________________ and weeks after their birth.

Professor Li said the new milk will be on supermarket _____________________ years. He believes it will be very popular, saying: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.” He spoke about how important _____________________. He said: “There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat. It's _____________________ science and technology, not to hold it back. We _____________________ first, before we consider ideals and convictions.” People on Britain’s Sky News website had differing views. One commented: “_____________________. This planet is _____________________ into hell.” Another said: “We interfere with nature every time we prevent death by taking engineered drugs. Get used to it.”

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

human

milk

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • produce
  • almost
  • alternative
  • powder
  • safe
  • birth
  • shelves
  • stronger
  • spoke
  • duty
  • totally
  • prevent

STUDENT GM MILK SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about GM milk 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.

GM MILK 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 ‘milk’?

c)

What do you think of genetically modified produce?

d)

Do you think it’s right to give babies GM milk?

e)

What’s the worst case scenario with GM food?

f)

What’s your country’s attitude to all things GM?

g)

What benefits could the GM milk have?

h)

Would you give the GM milk to your baby?

i)

Do you think it’s strange we drink milk from a cow?

j)

What three adjectives describe this story (and why)?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Will you buy the new milk when it comes out?

c)

Do you think it’ll be totally accepted one day?

d)

Is Professor right in saying feeding 1.5 billion people is more important than arguing about the ethics (rights and wrongs) of GM?

e)

Is it our duty to develop science into everything?

f)

What does the person mean who made the comment. “This planet is on a downward spiral into hell”? Do you agree?

g)

Do you agree that GM milk is litle different to taking manufactured drugs?

h)

What’s next for GM?

i)

Do you like milk?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Professor Ning Li?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Media (1) ____ are saying Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified cows that can produce human milk. A British newspaper says a laboratory in China has introduced human genes into dairy cows to produce milk (2) ____ identical to human breast milk. The researchers believe the new GM milk is a healthy alternative (3) ____ milk powder, which many (4) ____ nutritionists say is not so good for babies. Researcher Professor Ning Li addressed people’s concerns that the milk from GM cows could be harmful. He said it would be as safe as milk from ordinary (5) ____ cows. He added the GM milk contains a human protein called lysozyme, which helps to protect babies (6) ____ infections in the days and weeks after their birth.

Professor Li said the new milk will be on supermarket shelves (7) ____ ten years. He believes it will be very popular, saying: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.” He spoke about how important his team’s research (8) ____. He said: “There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat. It's our duty to develop science and technology, not to (9) ____ it back. We need to feed people first, before we consider ideals and convictions.” People on Britain’s Sky News website had (10) ____ views. One commented: “It’s totally disgusting. This planet is on a downward (11) ____ into hell.” Another said: “We interfere (12) ____ nature every time we prevent death by taking engineered drugs. Get used to it.”

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

1.

(a)

reporting

(b)

journalist

(c)

journalism

(d)

reports

2.

(a)

almost

(b)

whole

(c)

every

(d)

nears

3.

(a)

than

(b)

to

(c)

from

(d)

at

4.

(a)

infants

(b)

infantile

(c)

infant

(d)

infants’

5.

(a)

diary

(b)

dietary

(c)

dairy

(d)

fairy

6.

(a)

for

(b)

from

(c)

of

(d)

by

7.

(a)

outside

(b)

around

(c)

about

(d)

within

8.

(a)

is

(b)

be

(c)

are

(d)

being

9.

(a)

have

(b)

hold

(c)

put

(d)

give

10.

(a)

differed

(b)

differentiate

(c)

differs

(d)

differing

11.

(a)

spring

(b)

oblong

(c)

spiral

(d)

triangle

12.

(a)

with

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

from

WRITING

Write about GM milk 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 GM milk. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

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

4. MILK: Write a magazine article about this GM milk. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

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 Professor Ning Li. Ask him three questions about GM milk. Give him three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

produce

a.

make

2

modified

b.

altered

3.

alternative

c.

substitute

4.

concerns

d.

worries

5.

protect

e.

safeguard

6.

within

f.

inside

7.

consider

g.

think about

8.

disgusting

h.

horrible

9.

interfere

i.

meddle

10.

prevent

j.

stop

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

cows that can

a.

produce human milk

2

introduced human genes

b.

into dairy cows

3.

a healthy alternative

c.

to milk powder

4.

addressed people’s

d.

concerns

5.

protect babies

e.

from infections

6.

the new milk will be on

f.

supermarket shelves

7.

don't get

g.

enough to eat

8.

We need to feed

h.

people first

9.

on a downward spiral

i.

into hell

10.

we prevent death by taking

j.

engineered drugs

GAP FILL:

GM Cows to produce human breast milk

Media reports are (1) saying Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified cows that can produce human milk. A British newspaper says a laboratory in China has introduced human (2) genes into dairy cows to produce milk almost identical to human breast milk. The researchers believe the new GM milk is a (3) healthy alternative to milk powder, which many infant nutritionists say is not so good for babies. Researcher Professor Ning Li (4) addressed people’s concerns that the milk from GM cows could be (5) harmful. He said it would be as (6) safe as milk from ordinary dairy cows. He added the GM milk contains a human (7) protein called lysozyme, which helps to protect babies from (8) infections in the days and weeks after their birth.

Professor Li said the new milk will be on supermarket (9) shelves within ten years. He believes it will be very (10) popular, saying: “The milk tastes stronger than normal milk.” He spoke about how important his team’s (11) research is. He said: “There are 1.5 billion people in the world who don't get enough to eat. It's our (12) duty to develop science and technology, not to hold it back. We need to (13) feed people first, before we consider ideals and convictions.” People on Britain’s Sky News website had (14) differing views. One commented: “It’s totally disgusting. This planet is on a (15) downward spiral into hell.” Another said: “We interfere with nature every time we (16) prevent death by taking engineered drugs. Get used to it.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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