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English Detective, Issue #2 December 10, 2012
December 09, 2012

About this issue: The Discovery that Saved a Million Lives-- and Dealing with a Side Effect: Antibiotic Resistance

This issue is about the scientific method, some of the great discoveries made by using it, and some current problems connected with one of those discoveries.

There were originally articles about the discovery of penicillin, the development of other antibiotics, and then ways to control the antibiotic resistance that some bacteria have developed. By the end of 2017 (when I am re-editing this newsletter) some links no longer work, including the link to the article on antibiotic resistance, so I have removed them. Sorry for the inconvenience!

We also practice words connected with the scientific method and some of the discoveries and inventions enabled by it.

Notice how Fleming & others applied the scientific method: Fleming was growing bacteria cultures (a different meaning of culture: growing microorganism colonies.) Fleming noticed that a mold (a tiny form of plant life) affected the bacteria he was growing. He hypothesized (made a guess that he could test) that some chemical produced by the mold slowed or stopped bacterial growth. He tested the hypothesis by growing the mold with several different forms of bacteria and observing the results.

Then he wrote about his investigation and results so other scientists could do more experiments and perhaps find (and later make) the exact chemical in the mold that caused those results. By careful observation, repeated testing, and working together, they were able to produce a treatment that has saved thousands of lives.

I want to try something new in this newsletter: links that take you straight from the Table of Contents to each day’s reading or practice, so you don’t have to scroll down a long page. I was hoping to have the practice pages interactive (so you could mark and check your answers right on your computer screen), but I don’t have that capability yet. For now, you can print the practices from your screen or from a pdf, or you can use paper to write the numbers of the questions and letters of the answers, and then check at the bottom of the pages. I hope we can do better soon!

Also, just this once there will be three weeks between this issue and the next. (This is to give you a little extra time with your family, to prepare for the holidays or for exams.) English Detective will be back December 31 with an issue on setting goals, learning from failure and planning for success. Happy Holidays!

Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize (Study Most) in this Issue

Week 1: affected, appropriate (& inappropriately), available, capability, chemical, compound, conducting, contact, convinced, expose, furthermore, hypothesis, involved, medical, method, obtained, occur, potential, research, structure, and their variations (family members).

We also will study these related words not on the Academic Word List (AWL): discovery and infection

Week 2: bias, communication, computer, data, define, design, evaluate, factor, issue, major, require, revolution, technology, transportation, valid, variable, vehicle, version

If you already know most of the words, work on the ones you aren’t so sure of, or enjoy the readings and take a break from intensive study this week. There will be a whole different group in the new newsletter.


About this issue (above)

Your First Clue: Vocabulary for this issue (above)

Readings and Practice Activities: (I’ve suggested days for each activity, so you can do a little each day. Feel free to do each activity when it’s best for you.)

A note about these links:

1. The vocabulary practices Monday and Thursday of the first week and Tuesday and Friday of the second week are pdfs-- right click to download them to yr computer and print from there (or left click to use and online.)

(1st Monday) Be A Word Detective: Health Vocabulary Practice-- Types of Germs

(Tuesday) Getting the whole story: The Discovery of Penicillin

(Wednesday) Comprehension Check for Discovery of Penicillin (+ a little preparation for Friday)

(Thursday): Right click this word search puzzle on this issue’s vocabulary to download it for printing.

Right click here to download the word search answers.

2nd week: (Monday) Scientific Method Vocabulary

(Tuesday) Practice with Investigation and Science Vocabulary Words

(Wednesday) Science Discoveries and Inventions

(Thursday) A Quick Lesson on Subject-Verb Agreement & an article/grammar quiz on Designer Antibiotics

(Friday) Right click for Test your Deductions: Scientific Words Quiz pdf (& answers.)

Coming December 31: Goal Planning for Success and Learning from Failure. See you then!


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