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Intermediate - Upper-Intermediate Instant Lesson™

How good is your nose?

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Short Discussion

In everyday life you may see dogs helping people. Sheepdogs and guide-dogs are two examples of working dogs. Can you think of other kinds of working dogs?

Work in pairs and make a list.

 

Which of the dogs on your list use their noses in their work?

 

Reading Activities

A: Understanding the Main Idea

Here are the headlines and first two paragraphs of today's two articles. Read them and complete these two sentences to summarize the main ideas of the articles.

Article One: British custom officials now have...(you continue)...

 

Article Two: Scientists in the United States have managed to...(you continue)...

 


Part 1 of Article One

Dog Comes Equipped with a Nose for Money

LONDON Friday August 25 (Reuters) - A sniffer dog with a nose for money was unveiled by British customs officers on Thursday as their latest weapon in the battle against drug smuggling.

Officials are currently evaluating the results of a 12-month trial at London's Heathrow Airport using two sniffer dogs specially trained to detect large quantities of cash being smuggled out of the country to buy drugs.

(Continued/...)

Article © 2000 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com


Part 1 of Article Two

Mechanical Dogs Designed To Sniff Out Land mines

LONDON Thursday August 24 (Reuters) - Potentially lethal searches for land mines may soon be far safer with the creation of mechanical sniffer dogs which can smell almost as well as the real thing.

Scientists and engineers in the United States have unlocked the secrets of a dog's extraordinary sense of smell and used the discovery to produce a mechanical replacement, New Scientist magazine said Wednesday.

(Continued/...)

Article © 2000 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

 

B: Matching Information

Read Part 2 of Articles One and Two. As you read, match the beginnings and endings of the sentences below to make statements about the articles:

Beginnings

  1. Bodie is...
  2. Keith Hellawell is...
  3. Nearly 1.5 million dollars of illegal cash...
  4. Gary Settles has been...
  5. Researchers at Turfts University are...
  6. Joel White, a scientist, says...

    Endings

    1. ...a Springer Spaniel used by British customs officials to sniff out cash in people's luggage.
    2. ...recording images of the air currents produced by sniffing dogs.
    3. ...that the artificial nose still needs more work to make it more sensitive.
    4. ...in charge of coordinating the fight against drugs at British airports.
    5. ...has been detected by the customs dogs.
    6. ...trying to develop an artificial nose that sniffs like a dog.

Part 2 of Article One

(.../continued)

 

One of the dogs, a four-and-a-half year-old Springer Spaniel named Bodie, demonstrated his skills on Thursday to Britain's so-called drugs tzar, Anti-Drugs Coordinator Keith Hellawell.

"This is a means of stopping drugs from coming into the country, but it is a double hit as well because you are hitting people in their pockets," said Hellawell.

Customs officials said in the last three months the dogs had uncovered around $1.48 million in illegitimate cash leaving the country.

Article © 2000 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com


Part 2 of Article Two

(.../continued)

 

Gary Settles, a mechanical engineer at Penn State University in the United States, used special photography to record images showing the air currents produced by sniffing dogs, the magazine said.

The images showed that part of sniffer dogs' success was due to the fact that they separated scent-laden inhaled air from exhaled air, preventing the scent from becoming mixed up.

Exhaled air was diverted out of slits in the nose and deflected backwards away from whatever the dog was smelling, New Scientist said.

A team at Tufts University, Massachusetts, was using Settles' research to develop an artificial nose that "breathes" air in and out just like a dog, the magazine said.

The machine removes most odor molecules from inhaled air and this allows it to compare inhaled and exhaled air in such a way that it can detect a particular smell, New Scientist said.

Joel White, a neuroscientist at Tufts, said the artificial nose had already detected mines in a test environment but it had to be improved because it was still 10 to 50 times less sensitive than its canine counterpart.

Dogs are sometimes used to sniff out mines. Some 26,000 people are injured or killed by mines every year, according to the United Nations.

Article © 2000 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

 

C: Vocabulary

Here are the meanings of some words. Look through Part 2 of Article Two to find these words. (The number of letters for each word has been given.)

Example: The part of the face above the mouth, used for breathing and for smelling things:_ _ _ _
Answer: nose

  1. Steady, flowing movements of air: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  2. Breathed in: _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  3. Narrow openings: _ _ _ _ _
  4. A smell: _ _ _ _
  5. Smallest amounts of a chemical substance which can exist: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  6. Relating to dogs: _ _ _ _ _ _

 

D: Understanding Research

Read Article Two (both Parts 1 and 2) again and answer these questions:

  1. What does a dog's nose do to prevent inhaled and exhaled air currents from mixing?
  2. What does the artificial nose remove?
  3. What are the benefits of this research according to the article? (Give two benefits).

 


Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these.

A: Language

Check your knowledge of prepositions by filling the gaps in the article below. Select the correct prepositions from the choices shown in the box.


Part 1
at, at, at, of, of, of, by

How Much Is That Doggie__________ The U.N.?

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) Tuesday March 9 - How much is that doggie _____ the United Nations?

About $150,000 a year.

The cost _____ the bomb-sniffing U.N. canine was raised _____ Ambassador Nazareth Incera _____ Costa Rica _____ a meeting _____ the General Assembly's "watchdog" administrative and financial committee.

Article © 1999 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

Part 2
to, of, of, on, from, to

The Ambassador was indignant that the number _____ security guards assigned _____ Assembly President Didier Opertti _____ Uruguay had been reduced_____ two _____ one.

She was told that the United Nations lacked resources, but she understood it spent $150,000 a year _____ a security dog.

Article © 1999 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

Part 3
of, of, of, for, for, at, as, as, during

A U.N. spokeswoman told Reuters the current U.N. budget provided _____ a bomb-sniffing dog and handler _____ a cost _____ $60 an hour.

They are scheduled to work _____ many _____ 10 hours a day,_____ 252 days _____ the year, _____ a total_____ $151,200.

Article © 1999 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

B: Comprehension

Read the article in Post-Reading Activity A and answer these questions:

  1. Why did the Ambassador raise the question of the cost of a bomb-sniffing dog? What was she upset about?
  2. What point did she wish to make?

 

C: Extra Reading

Read about another device that may be able to detect plastic land mines. How does it work and why is it different to metal detectors?


Device Can Locate Plastic Land Mines - Physicist

MINNEAPOLIS Monday March 20 (Reuters) - A device that emits low-frequency sound waves and creates images of underground objects may be able to identify and locate land mines made from plastic parts, a physicist said on Monday.

Like sonograms of a fetus inside the womb, the new device's pictures are built up from the reflection of sound waves -- in this case traveling through the ground and interpreted from afar.

Boston College physicist Michael Naughton, speaking at an American Physical Society meeting in Minneapolis, said an initial prototype had been able to differentiate among such objects as cinder blocks, toys and a deactivated land mine buried in a pile of sand.

Metal detectors can detect several types of land mines, which kill or maim more than 2,000 people worldwide a month, but they cannot spot mines made out of plastic. And detectors using ground-penetrating radar, for example, often produce false readings from rocks, roots and other buried objects, slowing the mine-clearing process.

Naughton used a silicon chip to pick up sound waves bounced off buried objects.

Article © 2000 Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2000 www.english-to-go.com

 


TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Short Discussion - Suggested Answers

Answers might include police dogs (crowd control, search and rescue, tracking criminals), cattle dogs, hunting dogs, watchdogs, dogs used by the army and dogs used by customs officials.

Reading Activities

A: Understanding the Main Idea - Suggested Answers

Article One: British custom officials now have sniffer dogs trained to detect large amounts of cash being smuggled out of Britain to buy drugs.

Article Two: Scientists in the United States have managed to find out more about a dog's sense of smell and use this information to produce a mechanical dog that can sniff out land mines.

B: Matching Information - Answers

  1. Bodie is a Springer Spaniel used by British customs officials to sniff out cash in people's luggage.
  2. Keith Hellawell is in charge of coordinating the fight against drugs at British airports.
  3. Nearly 1.5 million dollars of illegal cash has been detected by the customs dogs.
  4. Gary Settles has been recording images of the air currents produced by sniffing dogs.
  5. Researchers at Turfts University are trying to develop an artificial nose that sniffs like a dog.
  6. Joel White, a scientist, says that the artificial nose still needs more work to make it more sensitive.

C: Vocabulary Answers

1.currents; 2.inhaled; 3.slits; 4.odor; 5.molecules; 6.canine.

D: Understanding Research - Answers

  1. The nose pushes the exhaled air out of slits in the nose and deflects it backwards away from the area that the dog is trying to smell.
  2. molecules containing odor
  3. Live dogs (and their handlers) would no longer be needed for the dangerous work of looking for buried land mines.
    The mechanical dog could sniff out land mines, devices that kill or injure around 26,000 people a year.
Post-Reading Activities

A: Language - Answers

Part 1

How Much Is That Doggie At The U.N.?

UNITED NATIONS Tuesday March 9 (Reuters) - How much is that doggie at the United Nations?

About $150,000 a year.

The cost of the bomb-sniffing U.N. canine was raised by Ambassador Nazareth Incera of Costa Rica at a meeting of the General Assembly's "watchdog" administrative and financial committee.

Part 2

The Ambassador was indignant that the number of security guards assigned to Assembly President Didier Opertti of Uruguay had been reduced from two to one.

She was told that the United Nations lacked resources, but she understood it spent $150,000 a year on a security dog.

Part 3

A U.N. spokeswoman told Reuters the current U.N. budget provided for a bomb-sniffing dog and handler at a cost of $60 an hour. They are scheduled to work as many as 10 hours a day, during 252 days of the year, for a total of $151,200.

B: Comprehension - Answers

  1. She wanted to compare the cost of two different things: security guards and bomb-sniffing dogs. She was indignant that the number of security guards for the Assembly President of Uruguay had been reduced.
  2. The UN is supposed to be short of money but it still spends $150,000 on a dog. This comparison implies that if the UN can afford to spend this much money on a dog, it should also be able to spend money on security guards for the Assembly President.

C: Extra Reading - Answers

  1. The device produces sound waves and generates images of objects under the ground. It may be able to identify plastic land mines. Metal detectors are unable to detect land mines made out of plastic.
  2. The pictures that the Boston College device produces can be checked to make sure that the device has located a mine and not some other object. Detectors using radar often identify objects like roots and rocks.

 

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