“Long dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped in ice and permafrost for centuries, are reviving as Earth’s climate warms”
By: Jasmin Fox Skelly
Published: 4 May 2017, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170504-there-are-diseases-hidden-in-ice-and-they-are-waking-up
Level of Difficulty:**
BEFORE YOU READ
· How global warming is awakening deadly diseases https://www.seeker.com/how-global-warming-is-awakening-deadly-diseases-2092321154.html
LISTEN TO A RECORDING OF THE TEXT AND READ ALONG
1. We understand from the first two paragraphs that the human immune system and pathogens are in a continual struggle to best each other/ overcome each other / respond to each other / defeat each other. Mark the answer that doesn’t fit.
2. Read the example of the boy who died of anthrax. What conclusion can be drawn from this example? Ancient pathogens are capable of…
3. Although permafrost melts every year, the issue of diseases is only now becoming a problem because ……………………………
4. Permafrost is an ideal incubator for pathogens because …
5. Go to the following link and read the short article https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7064-ice-age-bacteria-brought-back-to-life/ . An important implication of the revival of the 32 000 year old bacteria is the possibility that…
6. The danger zone for deadly pathogens which we have not faced for years is ……in frozen ground.
7. Read through the list of disease forming bacteria that may come back to life. What enables them to survive being deep frozen for thousands of years is the fact that they…
8. The viruses that go through the same process also survive provided they are…
9. The reactivation of ancient pathogens could be accelerated by …………….
10. The findings scientists looking into pathogens deep in the permafrost prove that we are wrong to assume that………
11. What important conclusion can be drawn from the findings in the Mexican mine?
12. What surprising fact emerged concerning the 4 million year old bacteria discovered in the Lechuguilla cave?
13. What conclusion can be drawn from the above information?
14. How did ancient bacteria develop antibiotic resistance considering that modern antibiotics hadn’t been invented?
15. How does the writer justify the above revelation?
16. What current concern has been proved to be unfounded by the new research into pathogens? Human activity did not lead to…
17. What new concern has been raised by the new research into pathogens?
18. Read about the two reactions to the findings concerning pathogens in permafrost. Which view does the writer take? Why?
Write an essay in which you discuss the reasons we should be concerned about melting permafrost.
THERE ARE DISEASES HIDDEN IN THE ICE, AND THEY ARE WAKING UP
This interesting text has a lot in common with sci-fi films and TV series concerning pestilences that wipe out civilization or devastate human populations but the difference is that this is real. Since it is a completely new topic, it should also have a wow factor.
1. Respond to each other (The phrase means “answer”)
2. Lying dormant and springing back to life / Infection
3. Older layers of permafrost are melting
4. It is cold, there is no oxygen and it is dark
5. There may be life elsewhere in the universe
7. Form spores
8. Giant viruses
9. Industrial exploitation (including mining for gold and minerals, and drilling for oil and gas)
10. A virus can be eradicated from the planet
11. Pathogens cut off from humans will emerge from other places too
12. The bacteria had become resistant to 18 types of antibiotics including drugs considered to be a last resort for fighting infections.
13. Antibiotic resistance has been around for millions even billions of years
14. Many types of fungi even other bacteria naturally produce antibiotics.
15. The bacteria are only resistant to natural antibiotics (which come from fungi and make up about 99.9% of all antibiotics we use)
16. Antibiotic resistance
17. Bacteria emerging from melting permafrost may already have antibiotic resistance
18. The second; if the pathogen hasn’t been in contact with humans for a long time, then our immune system would not be prepared. So it could be dangerous.