Comprehension Worksheet: Can you "Get" Her Point about Cancer?
Use this comprehension worksheet to check (and increase) your understanding of research English after watching a TED talk by young cancer researcher Eva Vertes. The talks is from 2005, but it still is fascinating-- and hopeful, both because of her conclusions and because of her potential.
The TED talk itself is below (with the option of subtitles in 25 different languages if you need help the first time you watch it.) Do watch it in English as soon as you can.
It may also help you to also read a transcript of the talk, either before or after watching it. (I recommend it. Use every aid you can to understand the ideas better.) Click here for the transcript. It opens in a new window so you can keep both open and switch from one to the other.
If you prefer an
interactive version, use the quiz below. Click on the best answer for each of the questions, then click "check" to see your score and the arrow button to go to the next question.
(You may re-answer any you have missed. Getting it wrong the first time will lower your score a little, but the important thing is to re-read and/or listen to that section again, then read the question carefully to figure out what you might not have understood. This is the best preparation for doing well on actual tests later.)
This is not a memory test. It’s a good idea to listen again or read back over the appropriate section before answering each question, just as you would do on an academic test or if you were reading important research.
Interactive Comprehension Quiz
What triggered Eva Vertes’ interest in reading?
her parents' encouragement
childhood detective series
a book about tracking the Ebola virus
When Vertes was 14, she wanted to do research. Put her experiences that year in order: a. She decided to look for ways to prevent damage to the nervous system. b. The fruit flies had spinal cord and neuron damage. c. She fed fruit flies heavy metals. d. Many scientists were reluctant to let her work in their labs because she was only 14.
The correct order is:
Vertes says she had heard of stem cells as “the panacea of the future.” If you are not sure of the meaning of ‘panacea’, you can find good clues in the context-- the rest of what she says about stem cells. Based on the context, ‘panacea’ probably means most nearly:
a treatment that will help many different diseases
a therapy for cancer
a type of cancer
. a bread derivative that treats stem cells
What does Vertes say seems to trigger or induce cancer?
unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, and other abuse
injury to an organ or other part of the body
no one knows
She mentions that stem cells have the ability to differentiate and become different types of tissue. It changed her way of looking at cancer when she realized
stem cell cancers may be the body’s unsuccessful attempt to heal damaged tissue.
good stem cells can become cancerous, so they should be isolated and destroyed.
sometimes cancer occurs in more than one type of tissue.
cell proliferation can happen in lungs.
What does she mean by “Shouldn’t we think about manipulation, rather than elimination?”
We need to manipulate normal body cells to inhibit the cancer so it will cause minimal damage.
Instead of trying to destroy cancer completely, maybe we could learn to control it and make it work for our bodies instead of against them.
We should manipulate anti-cancer therapies to more effectively overlap each other until the cancer is completely gone.
It’s not enough to manipulate treatments; we need to eliminate the cancer completely.
Which of these statements is NOT true of skeletal muscle tissue?
It has a large number of blood vessels.
It divides more often than most tissues.
It makes up at least 50% of our body.
It rarely develops cancer even from metastases.
What is metastasis?
an integral (basic) part of lung cancer
an especially deadly form of breast cancer
a rare form of muscle cancer, found only in isolated cases.
the cancer phase when cancer cells spread from the original tumor to other parts of the body
Which of these statements about angiogenesis are true? Choose all that are correct.
Vertes proposes the possibility that in the future instead of fighting cancer we might use it to grow new cells in diseases that destroy cells. True or false?
How did you do? If you have any questions or suggestions after re-reading the talk and the questions, ask them in the comments section below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can, because comprehension is important.