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Science Time

Science Time

Program Content for October 15, 2014

Read the article “Alzheimer’s brain cells are replicated in petri dish” on page A2 of the Monday, October 13, 2014 edition of The Seattle Times.


Vocabulary and pre-reading:  Define each term and use it in a sentence to demonstrate your understanding.

1.        enzyme

2.        petri dish

3.        neuron

4.        gene

5.        dementia


Comprehension Questions

1.        What is Alzheimer’s in a dish?  

2.        What problem does Alzheimer's in a dish solve?  

3.        Before Alzheimer’s in a dish was created how was this disease studied?  

4.        What led to the scientists success at growing Alzheimer brain cells in a dish?  

5.        What are two (2) defining features of brain cells with Alzheimer’s disease?  

6.        How do brain cells with Alzheimer’s grown in a dish differ from those inside a human brain?  

7.        How many drugs will soon be tested on Alzheimer brain cells grown in a petri dish?  

8.        What is amyloid?  

9.        When scientist Tanzi tested an enzyme using brain cells with Alzheimer’s in a dish what did he discover?  

10.     How was the Alzheimer’s in a dish system created?  

11.     How and why does Alzheimer’s begin?  

12.     Why are mice commonly used to test experimental drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s?  


Prompts and Extensions

1.        Watch this Ted Ed video clip to learn more about the discovery, disease progression, and treatment of Alzheimer’s.

2.        The use of a the mouse as a model organism to study diseases like Alzheimer’s has come under scrutiny in recent months.  Read this article to learn more about the risks and benefits of using a mouse model to study human diseases.

3.        Watch this PBS special on how those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and their families cope with the disease’s progression.

4.        Visit the scientific journal Nature’s website to read an excerpt of the scientific paper highlighting the discovery at the focus of this article and view images of how brain cell’s with Alzheimer’s were developed.


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Program Content for October 8, 2014

Read the article “Ebola in U.S.: Fear, reports of potential infections” on page A1 of the Sunday, October 5, 2014 edition of The Seattle Times.


Word Jumble:  Unscramble the key words from the article.  Then define each word.

1.      blaEo

2.      vruis

3.      ymnostp

4.      qunieatran

5.      datenaitnmco


Comprehension Questions

1.      Where is the man who tested positive for Ebola last week originally from?  

2.      What region of the world is the Ebola virus from?  

3.      How many cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the U.S.?

4.      How many people have been killed by the Ebola virus?  

5.      How many inquiries has the Center for Disease Control (CDC) received about Ebola? How many of those inquiries have been tested for the virus?  

6.      What is the best way to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading to the U.S.?  

7.      How many individuals are being monitored for Ebola as a result of being in contact with the man diagnosed with the virus in the U.S.?  

8.      What happened to the 4 relatives of the man diagnosed with Ebola living in Dallas?  

9.      What are considered to be contaminated waste materials?  


Prompts and Extensions

1.      Learn more about the Ebola virus and the series of events leading up to a U.S. man being diagnosed this past week in the following Seattle Times articles.  There are a number of articles on the topic including; ‘Ebola case: There’s a lot of fear’ on page A1, ‘Ebola treatment gains support,’ ‘Journalists face risks in covering epidemic,’ and ‘Cameraman with Ebola passed up life as lama’ on page A4, of Saturday 10/4; as well as ‘U.S. effort to fight Ebola in Liberia barely started’ on page A3 of Frday 10/3.

2.      Visit the Center for Disease Control’s Ebola webpage.  Learn more about the outbreak in West Africa, signs and symptoms of the disease, and view most frequently asked questions & answers.

3.      Read and watch about an experimental drug called ZMapp that has been used effectively to treat two Americans who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa.

4.      Watch a documentary made by NOVA about the last Ebola outbreak that occurred in 1995.  View footage of how the outbreak was controlled as well as the work scientists completed to identify where Ebola comes from.



Science Time is posted to the Web on Wednesdays. Please share this NIE Science Time program with other teachers. To sign-up for the electronic edition for your class, please register by e-mailing or by calling 206/652-6290 or toll-free 1-888/775-2655.

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