Intermediate Level
Lesson 16


Intermediate English
Lesson 16 - The Future

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English Reading Exercise

Review of Key Words



Construction on the Molecular Level


Paragraph 1
The term nanotechnology refers to science and technology in dimensions smaller than one thousand nanometers. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter. The research in nanotechnology is going primarily in two directions, construction of objects atom by atom and production of nano-sized machines.

Paragraph 2
AtomImagine if we could build objects by assembling the atoms. We could build whatever we wanted, from a diamond to a flower. We would simply assemble the necessary atoms in the correct way to make anything we wanted. If you got hungry, you wouldn't have to cook. You would just order what you wanted from a machine and it would assemble the food for you, atom by atom. If you needed new clothes, you wouldn't have to go to the store or even sew, a machine would assemble the atoms into a beautiful outfit.

Paragraph 3
Another branch of nanotechnology research involves making nano-sized machines for different purposes. These nano-sized robots could go into your body and cure diseases. If you got sick you wouldn't need to have surgery. You would just drink a solution that contained the little nano-robots and they would repair your body from the inside, like little mechanics.

Paragraph 4
This research, like many other kinds of research, raises ethical questions. Should we build objects including life forms for our purposes? How would you feel about having mechanical parts in your body? What would be the motivation to work if machines could produce everything (Would we even want to work)?

Paragraph 5
Nanotechnology raises interesting questions, but it has a lot of potential. If we could use nanotechnology to produce food and objects, it would mean the end of hunger and poverty. Perhaps we could even travel long distances almost instantly by disassembling our atoms in one place and reassembling them in our destination. The sky is the limit to what we could do with nanotechnology!


Select the correct answer.

1) Which word in paragraph 2 means "putting together."

2) Which word in paragraph 3 means "have" surgery.

3) Which word in paragraph 4 means "moral."

4) Which word in paragraph 5 means "not having food to eat."


More Practice
Which paragraph answers the following questions?

1. How could we use nanotechnology to manufacture things?

2. What is nanotechnology?

3. What are some of the more outrageous potential uses of nanotechnology?

4. How could you use nanotechnology robots in medicine?

5. What are some ethical questions raised by nanotechnology?



Write your answer to one of the ethical questions in the second to the last paragraph of the reading.

Should we build objects including life forms atom by atom for our purposes?

How would you feel about having mechanical parts in your body?

What would be the motivation to work if we could have machines produce everything (Would we even want to work)?

Write on a paper or on our blog.



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