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Scientists are working on new genetically modified (GM) eggs. These eggs contain medicine that helps with certain cancers and arthritis. They are also 100 times cheaper to manufacture than making medicine in factories.

Animal activists do not need to worry because these chickens are treated very well. They live in large pens and are unaware that they are laying different eggs. The biggest saving comes from the sheds that the chickens live in. These sheds are significantly cheaper to build than the factories needed for medicine production.

Often, diseases are caused by the body not producing enough of a certain chemical or protein. Medicine is usually made that contains this protein. This medicine is extremely expensive to produce. The scientists have made it cheaper by putting a human gene into a part of the chicken’s DNA. This gene is one that produces the protein. It is put into the chicken DNA that creates the white in chicken eggs. 

Three of these eggs are enough for one dose of medicine. Chickens can lay up to 300 eggs a year. With enough chickens, scientists believe they can make enough for the public. Although, creating a new medicine is a long process. It could take 10-20 years before these eggs are available. 

The scientists also hope they can make eggs for animal health too. These eggs would replace antibiotics and help with antibiotic resistance. 

This is not the first time scientists have genetically modified eggs. Scientists have also created GM eggs to reduce the number of male chicks. Male chickens are not used and are often killed 2 days after hatching. Reducing the chance of them hatching makes the process cheaper, greener for the earth and is obviously much more humane to the male chicks.

Difficult words

Genetically Modified (GM): To change genes in some way.

Arthritis: A disease which hurts joints (wrists, knees, elbows, etc).

Activists: People who fight for a certain cause.

Gene: Part of a person that is transferred from a parent to a child.

Dose: An amount of medicine.

Antibiotics: Medicine that fights microorganisms.

Resistance: To refuse to accept something.

Humane: To treat kindly.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Arthritis  A. Protester
 2. Activist  B. Kind
 3.  Antibiotic  C. Joint disease
 4. Resistance  D. Medicine
 5. Humane  E.  Refuse

True or False?

1. Scientists have created eggs to help with obesity. T / F

2. The eggs are cheaper than manufacturing medicine in factories. T / F

3. The chickens are not treated well.  T / F

4. Three eggs are enough for one dose. T / F

5. The scientists said they cannot use these eggs for animals. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. eggs / working / on / are / new / genetically modified (GM) / Scientists

2. not / worry / activists / need / Animal / do / to

3. the / from / sheds / The / saving / biggest / comes

4. creating / medicine / a / long / Although, / process / a / is / new

5. DNA / is / into / the / It / chicken / put

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English: 

dose contain cheaper
resistance hatching unaware

Scientists are working on new genetically modified (GM) eggs. These eggs _____________ medicine that helps with certain cancers and arthritis. They are also 100 times cheaper to manufacture than making medicine in factories.

Animal activists do not need to worry because these chickens are treated very well. They live in large pens and are _____________ that they are laying different eggs. The biggest saving comes from the sheds that the chickens live in. These sheds are significantly cheaper to build than the factories needed for medicine production.

Often, diseases are caused by the body not producing enough of a certain chemical or protein. Medicine is usually made that contains this protein. This medicine is extremely expensive to produce. The scientists have made it ____________ by putting a human gene into a part of the chicken’s DNA. This gene is one that produces the protein. It is put into the chicken DNA that creates the white in chicken eggs.

Three of these eggs are enough for one _______ of medicine. Chickens can lay up to 300 eggs a year. With enough chickens, scientists believe they can make enough for the public. Although, creating a new medicine is a long process. It could take 10-20 years before these eggs are available.

The scientists also hope they can make eggs for animal health too. These eggs would replace antibiotics and help with antibiotic  _______________.

This is not the first time scientists have genetically modified eggs. Scientists have also created GM eggs to reduce the number of male chicks. Male chickens are not used and are often killed 2 days after ______________. Reducing the chance of them hatching makes the process cheaper, greener for the earth and is obviously much more humane to the male chicks.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3.  What do you think about the GM eggs?
4. How would you feel about taking medication through eggs?
5. Do you think there are any negatives to these eggs?
6. Do you think it’s okay to create genetically modified food?
7. Would you be willing to eat genetically modified eggs if it meant no male chicks died?
8. Is there a different food you would rather take medication through?
9. What do you know about genetic engineering?
10. What do you think about genetically engineering new human organs to replace yours when you become old?
11. What do you think about people being able to genetically modify babies before they are born?
12. Should genetic engineering be used to rid the world of certain diseases and conditions?
13. What do you think about cloning?
14. What can cloning be useful for?
15. What do you think about people who clone their pets?
16. Would you ever want to clone any person or animal?
17. What do you think about cloning in order to harvest organs or other parts of the body?
18. What do you think about meat grown in labs to replace cow beef?
19. Does it make sense for vegetarians to eat this?
20. Is it worth it to continue creating medicine in factories for vegans even though it’s more expensive?