full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Tierney Thys and Christian Sardet: Meet the microbes that could eat your trash

Unscramble the Blue Letters

But there’s one particularly widespread type of material that almost no microbes can biodegrade: plastics. To make most plastics, molecules from oil, gas and coal are refined and turned into long, repeating chnais called polymers. This process often requires temperatures above 100˚C, incredibly high pressure, and various chemical mtiadficoinos. The resulting man-made polymers are quite different from the polymers found in nature. And since they’ve only been around since the 1950s, most microbes haven’t had time to elovve enzmeys to digest them. Making matters even more difficult, breaking most plastics’ chemical bonds requires high trpeteruames comparable to those used to crteae them— and such heat is deadly to most mcrioebs.

Open Cloze

But there’s one particularly widespread type of material that almost no microbes can biodegrade: plastics. To make most plastics, molecules from oil, gas and coal are refined and turned into long, repeating ______ called polymers. This process often requires temperatures above 100˚C, incredibly high pressure, and various chemical _____________. The resulting man-made polymers are quite different from the polymers found in nature. And since they’ve only been around since the 1950s, most microbes haven’t had time to ______ _______ to digest them. Making matters even more difficult, breaking most plastics’ chemical bonds requires high ____________ comparable to those used to ______ them— and such heat is deadly to most ________.

Solution

  1. microbes
  2. temperatures
  3. create
  4. modifications
  5. chains
  6. evolve
  7. enzymes

Original Text

But there’s one particularly widespread type of material that almost no microbes can biodegrade: plastics. To make most plastics, molecules from oil, gas and coal are refined and turned into long, repeating chains called polymers. This process often requires temperatures above 100˚C, incredibly high pressure, and various chemical modifications. The resulting man-made polymers are quite different from the polymers found in nature. And since they’ve only been around since the 1950s, most microbes haven’t had time to evolve enzymes to digest them. Making matters even more difficult, breaking most plastics’ chemical bonds requires high temperatures comparable to those used to create them— and such heat is deadly to most microbes.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
pet polymers 2
high temperature 2

Important Words

  1. bonds
  2. breaking
  3. called
  4. chains
  5. chemical
  6. coal
  7. comparable
  8. create
  9. deadly
  10. difficult
  11. digest
  12. enzymes
  13. evolve
  14. gas
  15. heat
  16. high
  17. incredibly
  18. long
  19. making
  20. material
  21. matters
  22. microbes
  23. modifications
  24. molecules
  25. nature
  26. oil
  27. plastics
  28. polymers
  29. pressure
  30. process
  31. refined
  32. repeating
  33. requires
  34. resulting
  35. temperatures
  36. time
  37. turned
  38. type
  39. widespread