full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Pamela Ronald: The case for engineering our food

Unscramble the Blue Letters

I want to give you a couple examples from my own work. I work on rice, which is a staple food for more than half the world's people. Each year, 40 percent of the potential harvest is lost to pest and disease. For this reason, farmers plant rice varieties that carry genes for resistance. This approach has been used for nearly 100 years. Yet, when I sertatd graduate school, no one knew what these genes were. It wasn't until the 1990s that scientists filnaly uervencod the genetic basis of rsesnatice. In my laboratory, we isolated a gene for immunity to a very serious bacterial dsaesie in Asia and Africa. We found we could enieegnr the gene into a conventional rice variety that's normally ssilbpucete, and you can see the two leaves on the bottom here are highly rtaissnet to infection.

Open Cloze

I want to give you a couple examples from my own work. I work on rice, which is a staple food for more than half the world's people. Each year, 40 percent of the potential harvest is lost to pest and disease. For this reason, farmers plant rice varieties that carry genes for resistance. This approach has been used for nearly 100 years. Yet, when I _______ graduate school, no one knew what these genes were. It wasn't until the 1990s that scientists _______ _________ the genetic basis of __________. In my laboratory, we isolated a gene for immunity to a very serious bacterial _______ in Asia and Africa. We found we could ________ the gene into a conventional rice variety that's normally ___________, and you can see the two leaves on the bottom here are highly _________ to infection.

Solution

  1. engineer
  2. susceptible
  3. finally
  4. uncovered
  5. started
  6. resistant
  7. disease
  8. resistance

Original Text

I want to give you a couple examples from my own work. I work on rice, which is a staple food for more than half the world's people. Each year, 40 percent of the potential harvest is lost to pest and disease. For this reason, farmers plant rice varieties that carry genes for resistance. This approach has been used for nearly 100 years. Yet, when I started graduate school, no one knew what these genes were. It wasn't until the 1990s that scientists finally uncovered the genetic basis of resistance. In my laboratory, we isolated a gene for immunity to a very serious bacterial disease in Asia and Africa. We found we could engineer the gene into a conventional rice variety that's normally susceptible, and you can see the two leaves on the bottom here are highly resistant to infection.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
genetic modification 5
genetically engineered 5
genetic engineering 4
golden rice 4
rice variety 3
conventional variety 3
organic farmer 2
ancient ancestor 2
couple examples 2
rice varieties 2
rice farmers 2
genetic technique 2
plant genetics 2
rice genes 2
hawaiian papaya 2
field trial 2
engineered papaya 2
conventional papaya 2
insecticide sprays 2
rockefeller foundation 2
powerfully argued 2
unintended consequence 2
unintended consequences 2
commercial interest 2
distributed freely 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
genetically engineered papaya 2

Important Words

  1. africa
  2. approach
  3. asia
  4. bacterial
  5. basis
  6. bottom
  7. carry
  8. conventional
  9. couple
  10. disease
  11. engineer
  12. examples
  13. farmers
  14. finally
  15. food
  16. gene
  17. genes
  18. genetic
  19. give
  20. graduate
  21. harvest
  22. highly
  23. immunity
  24. infection
  25. isolated
  26. knew
  27. laboratory
  28. leaves
  29. lost
  30. people
  31. percent
  32. pest
  33. plant
  34. potential
  35. reason
  36. resistance
  37. resistant
  38. rice
  39. school
  40. scientists
  41. staple
  42. started
  43. susceptible
  44. uncovered
  45. varieties
  46. variety
  47. work
  48. year
  49. years