Listen&Learn: Stem Cells

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the cells that could be revolutionary for medical treatments.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • cell: the smallest unit of life, which all living things are made up of
  • specialized: specific; serving a certain purpose
  • embryo: a developing being in a womb, egg, or plant seed
  • tissue: a group of similar cells that have a specific function
  • regenerate: to repair or restore something damaged or lost
  • transplant: an organ that is taken from a donor and given to a patient who needs it

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

A stem cell is a type of cell that can divide into more specialised cells during reproduction. There are two different types of human stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are found in the tissue of embryos, and adult stem cells, which are found in fully developed humans. The main difference is that embryonic stem cells can become any kind of cell, but stem cells can only become cells for certain types of tissue. In recent years, doctors and have become very interested in the medical uses of human stem cells. Stem cells could be used to treat illnesses such as , and regenerate tissue in organs that would otherwise require a transplant. Research has even shown that it is possible to genetically modify adult stem cells to like embryonic stem cells, which would make it much easier to grow any kind of tissue.

Comprehension questions

1. Embryonic stem cells can divide into

Correct! Wrong!

Embryonic stem cells can divide into any kind of cell.

2. Stem cells could be used to

Correct! Wrong!

Stem cells could be used to treat cancer.

3. Research has shown that adult stem cells can be

Correct! Wrong!

Research has shown that adult stem cells can be modified to behave like embryonic cells.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Stem cell research is a bit of a controversial topic in some places. Why do you think there is so much debate about it?

Transcript

A stem cell is a basic type of cell that can divide into more specialized cells during reproduction. There are two different types of human stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are found in the tissue of embryos, and adult stem cells, which are found in fully developed humans. The main difference is that embryonic stem cells can become any kind of cell, but adult stem cells can only become cells for certain types of tissue. In recent years, doctors and researchers have become very interested in the medical uses of human stem cells. Stem cells could be used to treat illnesses such as cancer, and regenerate tissue in organs that would otherwise require a transplant. Research has even shown that it is possible to genetically modify adult stem cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, which would make it much easier to grow any kind of tissue.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

Search for more Listen&Learn stories:

Subscribe to EnglishClub Podcasts RSS Feed

12 comments

Leave a comment