For the second year in a row life expectancy in the United States has decreased. One of the main reasons is the rise in opioid-related deaths, especially with young adults.
Life expectancy in 2016 was 78.6 years, compared with 78.4 years two years earlier. It is the first two-year decline in over 50 years. While life expectancy in other parts of the world is going up, the average American is dying at an earlier age.
According to a recently published report, overdoses of painkillers and other opioids are causing more and more premature deaths. The figures have risen from 6.1 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 21 per 100,000 people in 2016.
Last year 63 000 people died from some form of drug overdose. While 15000 of them were heroinaddicts an alarming 14000 died from other painkillers. Most of them were in the 28-54 year age group.
In many cases, drug abuse is caused by a general dissatisfaction with a person’s personal situation. This results indepression and hopelessness if addicts don’t have a family to support them. Such victims don’t have the stability that they need. As a consequence, they turn to alcohol and drugs.
Opioids are drugs that reducepain by targeting pain receptors in the brain. You need a doctor’s prescription to get them, but more and more people are buying them illegally on the streets.
While many start out with painkilling drugs, they later turn to heroin, also an opioid. In the terminal stages of cancer, morphine is often used to reduce a patient’s pain.
abuse = using something in a way that you shouldn’t
according to = as reported by …
addict = someone who is not able to stop taking drugs
as a consequence = this results in; it leads to
average = normal
brain = organ in your head that control your thoughts, feelings and movements
cancer = very serious illness in which cells in your body grow in an uncontrollable way
compared with= to look at two things and see how they are different
decline = when something goes down
decrease = to go down
depression = a medical condition in which you are unhappy with yourself and cannot lead a normal life
dissatisfaction = here: not being happy with yourself
especially = above all
heroin = powerful and illegal drug made of morphine
illegally = not allowed; against the law
life expectancy = the number of years a person is expected to live
morphine = powerful drug that is used to make people calmer and stop the pain
opioid = a drug that acts on the nervous system to reduce pain
overdose = to take too much of a drug at one time
pain = the feeling you have when part of your body hurts
painkiller = medicine which removes or reduces pain
premature = when something happens before the natural time
prescription = piece of paper that a doctor writes so that an ill person can get medicine
recently = a short time ago
receptor = a nerve ending that gets information and causes the body to react in a special way
reduce = lower
result in = lead to, be the reason for somehting
stability = here: strength
target = attack
terminal stages = the last days, weeks or months before a person dies of an illness
A human embryo that was frozen 24 years ago has now become a baby girl. Emma Wren Gibson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee from an embryo frozen in 1992. The mother, Tina Gibson, at 25, is only a year older than the embryo. It is the longest known frozen embryo that has successfully become a baby.
The Gibsons are unable to have children of their own and, in the past, have taken care of several other children.
Couples who use IVF to have a baby usually end up with more embryos than they need. They can decide to store them for later use, dispose of them or donate them for scientific research. Many parents who have leftover embryos give them to special centres where they can be used for others.
Doctors claim them frozen embryos can develop just as well as fresh ones. The dangerous part, however, is the thawing process.Only about 75% of all frozen embryos survive it. Health experts think that there may be up to a million frozen embryos in the United States.
For those who can’t have babies, using a frozen embryo from a donation centre is similar to adoption, only that the baby grows inside the adoptive mother.
adoptive = to become parent of a child that isn’t your own
claim = to say that something is true
develop = grow
dispose of = get rid of; destroy
donate = give something to an organisation in order to help
donation centre = here: a place where couples can give embryos they don’t need for others to use
embryo = a human being that has not yet been born but just started to develop
however = but
IVF = in vitro fertilisation = process in which a human egg gets together with male sperm outside a woman’s body; it is also called a test-tube baby
leftover = here: embryos that you do not need any more
scientific research = when scientists try to find out more about a disease or medical problem
similar = like
store = to put things away and keep them somewhere until they are needed
successfully = having the effect that you wanted
survive= live on after a dangerous situation
take care of = to care for someone or look after them
thawing process = here: to take an embryo out of a freezer and wait until its body temperature becomes normal
California’s Department of Health has published new guidelines on how to handle cell phones. It warns that radiationemitted from cell phones can be harmful but does not say that cell phones are dangerous.
.Health authorities in California suggest a few measures cell phone users should take. When sleeping, you should keep your phone at least an arm’s length away from your body. You should also avoid keeping your cell phone in your pocket. They also recommend only using cell phones when reception is strong.
Some doctors agree that carrying cell phones close to your body could increase the risk of getting brain tumours , cancer and becoming infertile. It may also lead to headaches, hearing problems and a lossof memory. On the other side, there are many health experts who say that the risks cell phone usage present are not proven
Cell phones emitradiation in the form of low-energy radio waves when they receive and send signals from cell towers. The frequencies that cell phones use could be linked to various illnesses.
The new cell phone guidelines have existed since 2009 but not been published. Recently, a Berkeley professor won a lawsuit against the Department of Health to release the guidelines to the public and push for more action.
authorities = government organisation that can make decisions
avoid = stop; not do something
brain tumour = illness in your brain in which cells increase in an uncontrolled way
cancer = serious disease in which cells in one part of your body start to grow in a way that is not normal
cell tower = high object that sends out and receives cell phone signals
Department of Health = authorities that are responsible for health programs and health information that is given to the public
emit = release, send out
guidelines = instructions on how people should do something or deal with something
handle = use
increase = go up
infertile = if you are not able to have babies
lawsuit = a problem that is settled by a judge in court
loss of memory = when you start forgetting things
public = the people in general
publish = to release official information to all people
radiation = form of energy that is sent out as waves that you cannot see
receive = pick up, get
recently = a short time ago
reception = the quality of the signal you get for your cell phone
Facebook has announced that it will release a new version of its popular app Messenger for children aged between 6 and 12. They do not need their own Facebook account to access the app, called Messenger Kids.
With Messenger Kids, parents will be able to control what their children see and who they are allowed to communicate with. There are no ads in the children’s version and Facebook has promised not to use a child’s information for other purposes. In addition, children’s names will not be integrated into Facebook’s search tool. At the moment, the app will only be available in the United States.
Facebook aims at getting children to become used to its product even if they are under the age required to get a normal account. As the company is losing younger customers to rivals Instagram and Snapchat, the company is trying to get young users to connect to their product before competitors do.
Messenger Kids will offer text and video chat as well as stickers and drawing tools. Special detection filtersprevent children from sharing sexual content or violence online.
According to Facebook, over 90% of all 8 to 12-year-olds have smartphones or tablets. Many use their parents’ Facebook account.The new app is intended to give children a feeling of having their own account, while parents are still incontrol.Messenger Kids will not automatically be converted into a normal Facebook account when children reach 13.
access = use
according to = as said by …
account =a service that allows you to do or see things on the Internet
ad = picture, words or a short film which is intended to make people buy a product
aim = wants, plan to
available = here: use
announce = to say officially in public
communicate = talk, chat with or write to
competitor = rival
content = comments, pictures video etc..
convert = change into, automatically become
customer = person who buys something
detection filter = here: a tool that is used to stop bad things from getting seen by children
in addition = also
intend = plan to
prevent = stop
promise = to say that you will do something
purpose = here: other things
release = here: you can download and use it
required = needed
rival = a company that sells the same things as you do
share = exchange, swap
sticker = here: a frame with a picture or words; you can collect them
Short Message Service (SMS), also called texting, is celebrating its 25th birthday. The first text message was sent in Great Britain shortly before Christmas in 1992 in Great Britain. It was British engineer Neil Papworth who sent the first message from a computer to a mobile phone on the Vodaphone network. At that time mobile phones could only receive messages, not send them.
In 1994, Nokia presented its first mobile phone that could actually send and receive messages. It was the first phone that could produce more than an audio signal. Shortly afterwards the first commercial SMS service started in Finland. Text messages were limited to 160 characters.
25 years later text messaging is widelypopular. 97% of all smartphone users send some type of text message regularly. About 25 billion are sent every day. Today there are more complex messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messanger and iMessage.
Media experts regard texting as the first step towards today’s smartphones, which are basically pocket computers with countless apps.
Texting has changed the way we communicate. For the first time, you could send the same text to different contacts at the same time andit didn’tmatter if the recipient was reachable or not. A new language has also emerged with abbreviations and short sentences.
abbreviation = short form of a word or phrase
actually = really, in fact
basically = practically
celebrate = to show that an event is important
commercial = here: something that you can make money with
communicate = exchange information or get into contact with each other
complex = advanced; with many different parts
countless = very many
emerge = develop, appear
engineer = person who designs and builds machines and other objects
limit = only allow
network = here: system of telephone lines that are connected to each other
Over the next few decades, Europe’s Muslim population is expected to continue growing. A studyestimates that by 2050 the Muslim population could grow to 58 million, or 11 % of the total European population, compared to 5 % today.
The study conducted by Pew research, is based on census and immigrationdata from 30 countries. It created three scenarios. In the first scenario, Muslim immigration into Europe would come to a complete halt. Even then, the Muslim population would rise to 7.4 %. This is because Muslims, on average, are 13 years younger than Europeans and have a higher birth rate.
On the other side, a high migration scenario is based on the flow of refugees from 2015- 2016 and expects it to continue. If this happens, the total Muslim population in Europe will rise to 75 million, about 14% of the total population.
According to the Pew report, not all countries will be affected evenly by future Muslim immigration. Germany and Sweden will see the biggest increases because these two countries accepted most asylum seekers during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis.
At the moment, Germany (5 million) and France (5.7 Million) have the largest Muslim populations in Europe.
The recently published study is likely to cause more debate on immigration into Europe. It citesinstability in the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria as the main factors that drive people to European countries. In the last 6 years seeking asylum in conflict regions was the most important motive for Muslims coming to Europe. Only few came to Europe for employment or education.
according to = as reported by …
affect = here: changed by the situation
asylum seeker = person who leaves their country because they are in danger, mostly for political reasons, and asks another country to let them live there
birthrate = the number of births for every 1,000 people in a year
census = official counting of a country’s population
cite = mention
compared = to look at two things in a similar way
conduct = carry out
data = information
debate = discussion
decade = ten years
employment = job, work
factor = reason
flow = steady movement of people
estimate = to calculate how big something will be based on the information that you have
halt = stop
immigration = when you go to another country and plan to live there permanently
increase = to go up
instability = when the situation in a country is not stable because of war or other conflicts
is based on = use something as the starting point for your research
is expected to = will probably
motive = reason
ongoing conflict = here: conflict or war that is continuing
refugee = people who have to leave their home because of war or a natural disaster
rise = go up
scenario = situation that could possibly happen
study = piece of work that is done to find out more about a subject
According to new research drinking coffee may actually be healthier than previously thought. Some health experts now say that a few cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of certain illnesses including liver disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Coffee may containsubstances that help fight these diseases. Caffeine is probably not one of them since people who drankdecaffeinatedcoffeehadthe same benefits.
Although there is no real proof that coffee consumption will actually help you live longer, it seems to be safe to drink it. The research collected evidence from previousstudies and showed that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drink an average of 3 cups a day, experience a lower risk of some diseases.
On the other side, drinking too much coffee during pregnancy could be harmful to the unborn child. Health experts also say that coffee drinkers should avoid putting toomuch milk, cream or sugar in their coffee. In addition, doctors say you shouldn’t start drinking coffee if you haven’t done so before.
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Two billion cups are consumed every day.
according to = as shown by …
although = while
avoid = not do something
benefits = good sides, advantages
billion = a thousand million = 1,000,000,000
beverage = hot or cold drink
caffeine = a substance that keeps you awake
cancer = very serious disease in which cells in one part of the body grow in an uncontrolled way
compared = if you look at …
consume = here: drink
contain = to have in them
decaffeinated = without caffeine
dementia = illness that affects the brain and your memory; it slowly makes you unable to think and remember things
evidence = facts that show that some things really are true or exist
experience = here: the effect that something has on you
illness = disease
in addition = also
liver = large organ inside your body that cleans your blood
popular = common; liked by many people
pregnancy = situation in which you are expecting a baby
previously = before, earlier
research = studies about a special subject
stroke = a blood vessel in your brain suddenly bursts or gets blocked; you could die or be unable to move some muscles
Charles Manson, the hippie leader who shocked the world in the 1960s, died at the age of 83. Manson, who has had health problems recently, was serving a life-sentence in a Californian prison.
Charles Manson was the charismatic leader of a group known for murdering seven people in Los Angeles in 1969. Among them was Sharon Tate, a rising Hollywood star and wife of director Roman Polanski. Miss Tate was pregnant at the time she was stabbed to death 16 times. Although Manson was not at the scene of the crimes he ordered his followers to commit the murders.
Manson and his cult members roamed neighbourhoods looting stores and committing random murders. His racist views triggeredwidespread hate against Black Americans. The clan leader was a symbol of free-love and drug-driven California in the late 1960s.
In 1971, Manson and four of his followers were sentenced to death in the gas chamber. The sentences were reduced to life imprisonment when California’s Supreme Courtabolished the death penalty in 1972.
In his youth, Charles Manson dreamed of becoming a rock star but was unsuccessful in his attempts at getting a record contract. This turned into hate against everything that represented the establishment and corporate America. His followers believed in everything he said and committed crimes on his behalf.
abolish = ban, not allow
although = while
attempt = try
charismatic = having the natural talent to attract people and make them like and admire you
commit = carry out
corporate America = here: the big businesses and companies that have a lot of power and can also make political decisions
death penalty = when the state legally kills someone who has committed a crime
drug-driven = here: a time when taking drugs was very common
establishment = group of people who have a lot of power and influence and are often against changes or new ideas
hippie = someone in the 1960s who wore unusual clothes , had long hair and took drugs for pleasure
life imprisonment = being in prison for your whole life
life-sentence = to be in prison your whole life
loot = to steal things from shops that were destroyed
on his behalf = in his name; for him
pregnant = to expect a baby
racist = someone who believes that people of their own race are better than others; they treat them unfairly and sometimes violently
random = without a plan or pattern
reduce = to make something less
recently = a short time ago
record contract = to make music for a company
represent = to stand for something
rising = here: becoming more successful
roam = walk around without a clear direction or knowing what you want to do
sentence = a punishment that a judge gives you for committing a crime
serve = to spend time in prison
stab to death = to kill someone with a knife
Supreme Court = the highest court in the state
trigger = start
unsuccessful = when something does not work out the way you want it to
The remains of Australia’s oldest aboriginal man, who died about 42,000 years ago, has been returned to his originalburial ground in New South Wales. For years, he had been at a university in Canberra for study purposes.
The skeleton was discovered in 1974 in a dry salt lake in Mungo National Park about 800 km west of Sydney. The remains were taken to the University of Canberra to be studied. At the time, the Aborigines protested heavily against removing the remains from their original burial grounds.They have been fighting for decades to bring the skeleton, known as Mungo Man, back home.
Mungo Man was probably a hunter-gatherer, who died at the age of 50. Scientists think that the man probably suffered from arthritis. He was found lying on his back with his hands crossed in his lap. His limbs were stretched out and his body was covered with red ochre, which came from some 200 km away.
Aborigines celebrated the return of the remains in a traditional ceremony with green gum leaves burned over a small fire. In an officialstatement, the university apologized for the pain they have caused by not letting the ancient human rest in peace.
aboriginal = connected to someone who has lived in a place or country from the earliest times
Aborigines = someone who belongs to the race of people who have lived in Australia from the earliest times
apologize = to say you are sorry about something
arthritis = disease that causes bones and flexible parts of your body to become painful and swollen
burial ground = place where a person is laid to rest after they have died
cause = create
celebrate = to show that an event is important by doing something special
ceremony = important social or religious event
decade = ten years
discover = to find for the first time
gum leaves = leaves from a gum tree; they produce a strong smelling oil that is used in medicine
heavily = very much; strongly
hunter-gatherer = person who lived by hunting animals and looking for plants that could be eaten
lap = the upper part of your legs when you are sitting down
limbs = arms and legs
ochre = red-yellowish earth
official statement = here: the university announced something in public
original = here: for the first time
remains = the body or skeleton of someone who has died
remove = bring away from the original place
scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
skeleton = structure of all the bones in the human body
study purposes = when something is looked at or examined closely by scientists and experts
A Swedish publicationreleasedrecently says that having a dog could not only make your life more worthwhile but actually save it. Apart from being great companions, especially for single individuals, dog ownership may lengthen your life. The survey studied Swedish individuals between 40 and 80 over a 12-year period.
The study found out that owning a dog reduces the risk of cardiovasculardiseases by almost a third. The risk of suffering a heart attack is 11% lower compared to singles without a dog. People who owned hunting dogs, like terriers and retrievers, benefited the most.
Dog owners are more active because they exercise with their dogs. Extensivephysical activityreduces the risk of heart diseases, strengthens the immune system and makes life less stressful. It also results in lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Dogs are increasingly used as a therapy after a severeillness. An American study shows that patients who have undergonesurgeryrecovered more quickly if they had contact with dogs.
On the other side dogs have a calming effect on people and are important company for those living alone. Loneliness and lack of social interaction is one of the biggest problems of older people. Petting a dog, for example, has proven to be helpful to those suffering from depression. In addition, dogs are especially helpful in helping and guidingdisabled and blind people.
apart from = besides; in addition to
benefit = to have advantages
blood pressure = the force with which blood travels through your body
calming = relaxed and quiet
cardiovascular disease = illness connected with the heart and blood moving through your body
cholesterol = chemical substance in your blood; too much of it may cause heart disease
company = when you are with someone else and not alone
compare =to look at two things and show how much the same or different they are
companion = friend
depression = the feeling of sadness that makes you think there is no hope for the future
disabled = someone who cannot use parts of their body properly
especially = above all
exercise = physical activity that makes you stronger and keeps you healthy
extensive = a lot ; much
guide = lead to a place
heart attack = when your heart suddenly stops beating
heart disease = illness related to your heart
illness = disease
immune system = system by which your body protects itself against diseases
in addition = also
increasingly = more and more
lack = not enough of …
lengthen = make longer
loneliness = being alone
ownership = having or possessing something
patient = someone who receives medical treatment in a hospital or at a doctor’s
pet = to touch or move your hand softly over an animal
publication = when you make something known to the public
recently = a short time ago
recover = to get better after you have been ill for some time
reduce = lower
release = to publish
severe = bad
social interaction = when two or more people do things together
strengthen = to make stronger
survey = a set of questions you ask a larger number of people about a certain topic
therapy = treatment or an illness after a long period of time
worthwhile = if something is important or useful; you can profit from something