The Reading / Listening - Greying Hair - Level 6

Scientists have discovered that stress is one factor in turning our hair grey, white or silver - at least, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA conducted a series of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents. The scientists injected the mice with an ingredient found in chili peppers that gives them their heat. The compound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment in the mice to go into overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond what I imagined."



People have wondered for centuries about the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was beheaded during the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have witnessed the locks of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose colour. The strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially hair follicles. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate pigment any more. The damage is permanent." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating the aging process.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Greying Hair - Level 4  or  Greying Hair - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10800966/stress-cause-hair-to-go-grey/
  • https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/stress-turns-hair-gray-by-depleting-pigment-producing-stem-cells-67004
  • https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/23/yes-stress-really-turn-hair-grey-12107764


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. GREY HAIR: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about grey hair. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       scientists / stress / biologists / effects / mice / chili peppers / hair colour / reaction /
       centuries / eighteenth century / presidents / world leaders / hair follicles / cells / aging
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. NO HAIR: Students A strongly believe having no hair is better than having hair; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. HAIR: What can we do about these hair problems? How worried are you about them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What We Can Do

How Worried Are You?

Greying

 

 

Balding

 

 

Split ends

 

 

Dandruff

 

 

Greasy hair

 

 

Unmanageable hair

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. MICE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "mice". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. STRESS: Rank these with your partner. Put the most stressful things at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • English level
  • Family
  • Neighbours
  • Public transport
  • Money
  • Exams
  • Family
  • Weight

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. factor a. A component part or element of something.
      2. stem cell b. A circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result or outcome.
      3. ascertain c. Find something out for sure; make sure of.
      4. ingredient d. The natural coloring matter of animal or plant tissue.
      5. compound e. Tending to cause harm.
      6. pigment f. A cell which is capable of giving rise to millions more cells of the same type.
      7. detrimental g. A thing that is composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture.

    Paragraph 2

      8. beheaded h. A state of tension or exhaustion resulting from severe demands on one's strength or resources.
      9. witnessed i. Increase in speed, amount or extent.
      10. locks j. Regrow new tissue to replace lost or injured tissue.
      11. strain k. A piece of a person's hair.
      12. follicles l. The bag of cells and connective tissue which surrounds the root of a hair.
      13. regenerate m. Cut off the head off someone, especially for an execution.
      14. accelerating n. Saw an event.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article said scientists found three factors that turn our hair grey.     T / F
  2. Scientists did many tests on mice and monkeys.     T / F
  3. Scientists gave chilli pepper to mice to make them stressed.     T / F
  4. The test results were just what a researcher imagined they would be.     T / F
  5. A queen's hair supposedly went white the night before she lost her head. T / F
  6. The article says the pressures of leadership turns hair white.     T / F
  7. The loss of the colouring pigment can be reversed.     T / F
  8. A professor said stress is the major cause of aging.     T / F

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

  1. factor
  2. conducted
  3. ingredient
  4. deplete
  5. detrimental
  6. beheaded
  7. strains
  8. reversed
  9. pigment
  10. accelerating
  1. hastening
  2. use up
  3. decapitated
  4. carried out
  5. colour
  6. harmful
  7. altered
  8. element
  9. stresses
  10. constituent

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

  1. Scientists have discovered that
  2. Stem cell biologists
  3. ascertain the effects of stress
  4. an ingredient
  5. The detrimental
  6. the night before she
  7. go to the roots of things,
  8. you can't regenerate pigment
  9. The damage is
  10. responsible for accelerating
  1. found in chili peppers
  2. permanent
  3. was beheaded
  4. especially hair follicles
  5. from Harvard University
  6. any more
  7. on the rodents
  8. the aging process
  9. stress is one factor
  10. impact of stress

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
least
rodents
beyond
factor
overdrive
series
rapidly
compound

Scientists have discovered that stress is one (1) ____________ in turning our hair grey, white or silver - at (2) ____________, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA conducted a (3) ____________ of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the (4) ____________. The scientists injected the mice with an ingredient found in chili peppers that gives them their heat. The (5) ____________ made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment in the mice to go into (6) ____________ as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to (7) ____________ turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was (8) ____________ what I imagined."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
strains
beheaded
permanent
follicles
process
centuries
witnessed
regenerate

People have wondered for (9) ____________ about the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was (10) ____________ during the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have (11) ____________ the locks of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color. The (12) ____________ of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially hair (13) ____________. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't (14) ____________ pigment any more. The damage is (15) ____________." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating the aging (16) ____________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  conducted a series of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress ______
     a.  on the residents
     b.  on the recent
     c.  on the rodents
     d.  on the rodeo nuts
2) injected the mice with an ingredient found in chili peppers that gives ______
     a.  them their hot
     b.  them their warm
     c.  them their heating
     d.  them their heat
3)  go into overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating ______
     a.  stem cells
     b.  storm cells
     c.  stern cells
     d.  stone cells
4)  This caused the mice's hair to ______ white
     a.  rapidly turns
     b.  rapidly turn
     c.  rapidly turned
     d.  rapidly turning
5)  The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was ______ imagined
     a.  be yonder what I
     b.  by yonder what I
     c.  beer yond what I
     d.  beyond what I

6)  Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before ______
     a.  she was bearded
     b.  she was behest
     c.  she was beyond
     d.  she was beheaded
7)  strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially ______
     a.  hair folly calls
     b.  hair folly cells
     c.  hair follicles
     d.  hair falling calls
8)  Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells ______
     a.  cannot be reserved
     b.  cannot be regaled
     c.  cannot be resealed
     d.  cannot be reversed
9)  She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate ______ more"
     a.  pig meant any
     b.  pigment any
     c.  pig mint any
     d.  pigging any
10)  hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating the ______
     a.  age in process
     b.  aching process
     c.  aging process
     d.  raging process

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists have discovered that stress is one (1) ___________________ our hair grey, white or silver - at least, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA (2) ___________________ of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents. The scientists injected the mice with (3) ___________________ in chili peppers that gives them their heat. The compound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment in the mice to (4) ___________________ as a reaction to the stress and (5) ___________________ stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered (6) ___________________ I imagined."

People have (7) ___________________ about the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she (8) ___________________ the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have (9) ___________________ of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color. The strains of leadership seem to go to (10) ___________________ things, especially hair follicles. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate (11) ___________________. The damage is permanent." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating (12) ___________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. How many hair-greying factors did scientists discover?
  2. What university conducted this research?
  3. What did researchers inject an ingredient of into test mice?
  4. What happened to colour-regenerating stem cells after an injection?
  5. What did a researcher say about the detrimental impact of stress?
  6. For how long have people worried about stress and greying hair?
  7. Whose locks have we seen lose colour in recent times?
  8. Where do the strains of leadership go to besides the roots of things?
  9. What did the researcher say about the damage to the pigment?
  10. What other thing did the researcher say stress might accelerate?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  How many hair-greying factors did scientists discover?
a) four
b) one
c) three
d) two
2)  What university conducted this research?
a) Beijing
b) Sorbonne
c) Harvard
d) Oxford
3)  What did researchers inject an ingredient of into test mice?
a) pepper
b) tea
c) salt
d) chili peppers
4)  What happened to colour-regenerating stem cells after an injection?
a) they made the mice run faster
b) they were depleted
c) they revived
d) they changed colour
5)  What did a researcher say about the detrimental impact of stress?
a) it was beyond what she imagined
b) nothing
c) she was not surprised
d) she was impressed

6)  For how long have people worried about stress and greying hair?
a) centuries
b) dozens of years
c) millennia
d) decades
7)  Whose locks have we seen lose colour in recent times?
a) teenagers
b) babies
c) actors
d) presidents
8)  Where do the strains of leadership go to besides the roots of things?
a) split ends
b) the scalp
c) hair follicles
d) dandruff
9)  What did the researcher say about the damage to the pigment?
a) it was interesting
b) nothing
c) it isn't a problem
d) it is permanent
10)  What other thing did the researcher say stress might accelerate?
a) poor eyesight
b) ageing
c) weight gain
d) dementia

Role play

Role  A – Money
You think money is the most stressful thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least stressful of these (and why): English level, public transport or family.

Role  B – English Level
You think English level is the most stressful thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least stressful of these (and why): money, public transport or family.

Role  C – Public Transport
You think public transport is the most stressful thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least stressful of these (and why): English level, money or family.

Role  D – Family
You think family is the most stressful thing. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least stressful of these (and why): English level, public transport or money.

After reading / listening

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

'grey'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'hair'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • factor
    • series
    • rodents
    • heat
    • compound
    • beyond
    • link
    • night
    • locks
    • roots
    • gone
    • process




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Greying Hair

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'grey'?
    3. What do you think of your hair?
    4. What is the best hair colour?
    5. What stress is there in your life?
    6. What is the best hair colour to have?
    7. What do you think of people with grey hair?
    8. Is grey hair better than being bald?
    9. Would you dye your hair to cover the grey?
    10. Would you wear a wig to hide your grey hair?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'hair'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Would life be better without hair?
    5. What do you think of our hair turning grey?
    6. What is the best way to deal with stress?
    7. Would you quit a job that was turning your hair grey?
    8. How can we best look after our hair?
    9. Are you worried that stress could accelerate the aging process?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Scientists have discovered that stress is one factor (1) ____ turning our hair grey, white or silver - at least, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA conducted a (2) ____ of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents. The scientists (3) ____ the mice with an ingredient found in chili peppers that gives them their (4) ____. The compound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment in the mice to go into overdrive as a reaction to the stress and (5) ____ colour-regenerating stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was (6) ____ what I imagined."

    People have (7) ____ for centuries about the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was (8) ____ during the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have witnessed the (9) ____ of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color. The strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially hair (10) ____. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be (11) ____. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate pigment any more. The damage is permanent." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible (12) ____ accelerating the aging process.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     on     (b)     in     (c)     by     (d)     at    
    2. (a)     cereal     (b)     series     (c)     serial     (d)     serious    
    3. (a)     dejected     (b)     infected     (c)     conjectured     (d)     injected    
    4. (a)     warm     (b)     heat     (c)     hot     (d)     heating    
    5. (a)     complete     (b)     deplete     (c)     replete     (d)     pleat    
    6. (a)     yonder     (b)     behest     (c)     beyond     (d)     behind    
    7. (a)     wandered     (b)     winded     (c)     wondered     (d)     wounded    
    8. (a)     bedecked     (b)     bejewelled     (c)     beheaded     (d)     behemoth    
    9. (a)     licks     (b)     lacks     (c)     looks     (d)     locks    
    10. (a)     follicles     (b)     particles     (c)     rallies     (d)     popsicles    
    11. (a)     reversed     (b)     backed     (c)     reserved     (d)     backward    
    12. (a)     of     (b)     at     (c)     for     (d)     on

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Stem cell lstboisigo from Harvard University
    2. the effects of stress on the drtosen
    3. an indrteigne found in chili peppers
    4. a hair-colouring igtpemn in the mice
    5. deeeptl colour-regenerating stem cells
    6. The rendmetailt impact of stress

    Paragraph 2

    1. People have enodewrd for centuries
    2. deeahebd during the French Revolution
    3. we have einsdwset the locks of
    4. The irtssna of leadership
    5. hair isllfloec
    6. ticeenalacrg the aging process

    Put the text back together

    (...)  ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents. The scientists injected the mice with an ingredient found in
    (...)  Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was beheaded during the French Revolution in the late-
    (...)  least, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA conducted a series of tests on mice to
    (...)  eighteenth century. More recently, we have witnessed the locks of presidents and other world
    (...)  "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond what I imagined."
    (...)  permanent." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating the aging process.
    (...)  leaders quickly lose color. The strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially hair
    (...)  pigment in the mice to go into overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating stem
    (...)  chili peppers that gives them their heat. The compound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring
    (...)  follicles. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be
    (...)  cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said:
    1  ) Scientists have discovered that stress is one factor in turning our hair grey, white or silver - at
    (...)  reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate pigment any more. The damage is
    (...)  People have wondered for centuries about the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's

    Put the words in the right order

    1. one   Scientists   is   discovered   factor   .   that   stress   have
    2. injected   scientists   mice   ingredient   .   the   with   The   an
    3. a   Go   to   stress   .   overdrive   reaction   into   as
    4. caused   white   .   mice's   the   This   to   hair   turn
    5. that   stress   impact   detrimental   The   discovered   .   we   of
    6. wondered   the   link   .   about   People   have   for   centuries
    7. beheaded   .   night   was   before   the   white   Turned   she
    8. to   to   Seem   of   things   .   the   roots   go
    9. stem   cannot   cells   The   reversed   .   be   pigment-regenerating
    10. responsible  .  stress   Worryingly,  that   she   could   be   hypothesised

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists have discovered that stress is one / once factor in turning our hair grey, white or silver - at last / least, in mice. Stem cell biologists from Harvard University in the USA conducted a series / serial of tests on mice to ascertain the effects / affects of stress on the rodents. The scientists injected the mice with an ingredient / increment found in chili peppers that gives them their hot / heat. The compound / confound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment in the mice to go into overtake / overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly move / turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond / behind what I imagined."

    People have wondered / wandered for centuries about the link between stress and greying hair. It is belief / believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was headed / beheaded during the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have witnessed / trialled the locks of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color. The stains / strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things, especially hair follicles / icicles. Professor Hsu said the loss of the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be reserved / reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate / regurgitate pigment any more. The damage is permanent / permafrost." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be / have responsible for accelerating the aging process.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    S c__ n t_s t s h_v_ d_s c_v_r_d t h_t s t r_s s _s _n_ f_c t_r _n t_r n_n g __ r h__ r g r_y , w h_t_ _r s_l v_r - _t l__ s t , _n m_c_. S t_m c_l l b__ l_g_s t s f r_m H_r v_r d U n_v_r s_t y _n t h_ U S A c_n d_c_t _d _ s_r__ s _f t_s t s _n m_c_ t_ _s c_r t__ n t h_ _f f_c t s _f s t r_s s _n t h_ r_d_n t s . T h_ s c__ n t_s t s _n j_c t_d t h_ m_c_ w_t h _n _n g r_d__ n t f__ n d _n c h_l_ p_p p_r s t h_t g_v_s t h_m t h__ r h__ t . T h_ c_m p__ n d m_d_ t h_ m_c_ s t r_s s_d . T h_s c__ s_d _ h__ r - c_l__ r_n g p_g m_n t _n t h_ m_c_ t_ g_ _n t_ _v_r d r_v_ _s _ r__ c t__ n t_ t h_ s t r_s s _n d d_p l_t_ c_l__ r - r_g_n_r_t_n g s t_m c_l l s . T h_s c__ s_d t h_ m_c_' s h__ r t_ r_p_d l y t_r n w h_t_. L__ d r_s__ r c h_r , P r_f_s s_r Y_- C h__ h H s_, s__ d : " T h_ d_t r_m_n t_l _m p_c t _f s t r_s s t h_t w_ d_s c_v_r_d w_s b_y_n d w h_t I _m_g_n_d . "

    P__ p l_ h_v_ w_n d_r_d f_r c_n t_r__ s _b__ t t h_ l_n k b_t w__ n s t r_s s _n d g r_y_n g h__ r . I t _s b_l__ v_d t h_t F r_n c_' s Q___n M_r__ A n t__ n_t t_' s h__ r t_r n_d w h_t_ t h_ n_g h t b_f_r_ s h_ w_s b_h__ d_d d_r_n g t h_ F r_n c h R_v_l_t__ n _n t h_ l_t_-__ g h t__ n t h c_n t_r y . M_r_ r_c_n t l y , w_ h_v_ w_t n_s s_d t h_ l_c k s _f p r_s_d_n t s _n d _t h_r w_r l d l__ d_r s q__ c k l y l_s_ c_l_r . T h_ s t r__ n s _f l__ d_r s h_p s__ m t_ g_ t_ t h_ r__ t s _f t h_n g s , _s p_c__ l l y h__ r f_l l_c l_s . P r_f_s s_r H s_ s__ d t h_ l_s s _f t h_ p_g m_n t - r_g_n_r_t_n g s t_m c_l l s c_n n_t b_ r_v_r s_d . S h_ s__ d : " O n c_ t h_y ' r_ g_n_, y__ c_n ' t r_g_n_r_t_ p_g m_n t _n y m_r_. T h_ d_m_g_ _s p_r m_n_n t . " W_r r y_n g l y , s h_ h y p_t h_s_s_d t h_t s t r_s s c__ l d b_ r_s p_n s_b l_ f_r _c c_l_r_t_n g t h_ _g_n g p r_c_s s .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists have discovered that stress is one factor in turning our hair grey white or silver at least in mice stem cell biologists from harvard university in the usa conducted a series of tests on mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents the scientists injected the mice with an ingredient found in chili peppers that gives them their heat the compound made the mice stressed this caused a haircolouring pigment in the mice to go into overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colourregenerating stem cells this caused the mices hair to rapidly turn white lead researcher professor yachieh hsu said the detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond what i imagined

    people have wondered for centuries about the link between stress and greying hair it is believed that frances queen marie antoinettes hair turned white the night before she was beheaded during the french revolution in the lateeighteenth century more recently we have witnessed the locks of presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color the strains of leadership seem to go to the roots of things especially hair follicles professor hsu said the loss of the pigmentregenerating stem cells cannot be reversed she said once theyre gone you cant regenerate pigment any more the damage is permanent worryingly she hypothesised that stress could be responsible for accelerating the aging process

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistshavediscoveredthatstressisonefactorinturningourhairgre
    y,whiteorsilver-atleast,inmice.StemcellbiologistsfromHarvardUn
    iversityintheUSAconductedaseriesoftestsonmicetoascertaintheeffe
    ctsofstressontherodents.Thescientistsinjectedthemicewithaningred
    ientfoundinchilipeppersthatgivesthemtheirheat.Thecompoundmad
    ethemicestressed.Thiscausedahair-colouringpigmentinthemicetog
    ointooverdriveasareactiontothestressanddepletecolour-regenera
    tingstemcells.Thiscausedthemice'shairtorapidlyturnwhite.Leadrese
    archer,ProfessorYa-ChiehHsu,said:"Thedetrimentalimpactofstresst
    hatwediscoveredwasbeyondwhatIimagined."Peoplehavewonderedf
    orcenturiesaboutthelinkbetweenstressandgreyinghair.Itisbelievedt
    hatFrance'sQueenMarieAntoinette'shairturnedwhitethenightbefore
    shewasbeheadedduringtheFrenchRevolutioninthelate-eighteenthc
    entury.Morerecently,wehavewitnessedthelocksofpresidentsandoth
    erworldleadersquicklylosecolour.Thestrainsofleadershipseemtogot
    otherootsofthings,especiallyhairfollicles.ProfessorHsusaidthelossof
    thepigment-regeneratingstemcellscannotbereversed.Shesaid:"On
    cethey'regone,youcan'tregeneratepigmentanymore.Thedamageisp
    ermanent."Worryingly,shehypothesisedthatstresscouldberesponsi
    bleforacceleratingtheagingprocess.

    Free writing

    Write about greying hair for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Humans would lead better lives if they had no hair at all. Discuss.

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    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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. GREY HAIR: Make a poster about grey hair. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. NO HAIR: Write a magazine article about everyone getting rid of their hair to save time, money and stress. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on grey hair. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on hair. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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