isten in English
New Zealand Gene Drive
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Published: 3.14.2017
Level 6   |   Time: 6:25
Accent: Canadian / New Zealand
Source: Quirks & Quarks (2.25.2017)

TOEFL: New Zealand starts a gene drive to remove all of the predators from the country.

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triangle Directions


  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio above.
  3. ANSWER the questions (IELTS).
  4. CHECK your answers.

triangle Vocabulary


  • a predator [n] an animal that kills other animals
  • a gene [n] the physical unit of genetics
  • pesky [adj] annoying
  • pull out the stops [exp] try hard
  • cutting-edge [adj] modern (technology)
  • rendering [v] making
  • reproduce [v] have offspring (babies)
  • invasive [adj] something that invades
  • an arsenal [n] collection of tools/weapons
  • deployed [v] spread and arranged
  • a grid-pattern [n] organized/methodical pattern
  • rodents[n] rats / mice
  • fertility [n] ability to reproduce (have babies)
  • toxins[n] poisons
  • residual [adj] remaining / leftover
  • on the table [exp] possible
  • vulnerability [n] ability to be hurt/harmed
  • a pest [n] an annoying animal
  • a chromosome [n] the thread that holds genes
  • predominantly [adv] mainly
  • traits [n] characteristics
  • inheritance [n] genetic information passed from parent to offspring
  • extinct [adj] exists no more
  • mutations [n] genetic change from the original form
  • eradicate [v] remove or destroy completely
  • tell (someone) apart [phv] distinguish something
  • hang on [phv] wait
  • out of the box [exp] started and can't be stopped
  • conservation [n] save / conserve
  • restoration [n] bring back / restore
  • preservation [n] keep safe / preserve
  • mammalian [adj] referring to mammals

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [adv] - adjective,  [exp] - expression


triangle Questions


  1. When does New Zealand want to be predator free?
    2050
    2015
    2005

  2. The host defines a gene drive as a way of...
    changing a population genetically.
    removing genes from a species.
    killing a population with a poisonous gene.

  3. Which methods have already been used?
    traps
    a grid pattern
    poisons

  4. What pests / predators does Dr. Gemmell mention?
    rats / mice
    ferrets
    cats
    weasels
    wolves

  5. A possum is a type of...
    animal
    poison
    gene
    chromosome

  6. What problem associated with using poison does Dr. Gemmell NOT mention?
    There are environmental concerns.
    It is expensive.
    It takes a long time.
    It is dangerous.

  7. Why does he want to target fertility?
    It is the easiest trait to target.
    It prevents a species from reproducing.
    It hasn't been tried before.

  8. Which chromosome determines sex in humans?
    X
    Y
    Z

  9. What does a gene drive do?
    It makes genetic inheritance less random.
    It eliminates a gene from a species.
    It makes reproduction impossible.

  10. How successful have scientist been on pushing a specific gene through a population?
    100%
    about 90%
    about 50%

  11. Dr. Gemmell says that it is better to reduce the female population of pests because...
    females are generally more destructive.
    male offspring are easier to control.
    limiting females in a population limits population growth.

  12. Dr. Gemmell says the gene drive might not be successful...
    if wild animals don't want to mate with genetically modified animals.
    if the genes cannot be controlled.
    if conservationists prevent the gene drive.

  13. Dr. Gemmell says a gene drive might be dangerous because...
    it could be difficult to control.
    it will kill too many animals.
    there has not been enough research.

  14. Dr. Gemmell states that he prefers...
    conservation.
    preservation.
    restoration.

  15. Dr. Gemmell states that introducing mammalian pests 150 years ago was...
    unnecessary.
    silly.
    controversial.


triangle Discuss / Consider


  1. Do you think it is a good idea to remove all the predator species from New Zealand?
  2. What could be some other consequences of the gene drive in New Zealand?

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