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Unit 3 The human body, 3C Listening, The body’s limits, page 32

Exercise 1 

1 c

2 a

3 a

4 c

5 b

6 c

7 c

8 a



1 150,000

2 3.7 million

3 2.07

4 three tenths

5 30.5%

6 20–25

7 –25°C

8 1930


Exercise 3

1 2 million

2 100,000

3 10%, 90%

4 2%, 1/5

5 0.5°C

6 30,000

7 206

8 1.27

20–22; 15–16



1 Your body makes 2 million new blood cells every second.

2 There are nearly 100,000 kilometres of blood vessels in an average adult body.

3 Only 10% of the cells in our body are human; the other 90% are bacteria.

4 Your brain is only 2% of your body’s weight, but it uses one fifth of the oxygen.

5 Your temperature is usually about 0.5°C lower in the morning than in the evening.

6 Blondes have about 30,000 more hairs on their head than people with black hair.

7 Adult humans have 206 bones, but newborn babies have a lot more.

8 The smallest muscle in the body is inside the ear; it is only 1.27 millimetres long.

9 Men usually stop growing when they are 20–22 years old, women when they are 15–16.


Exercise 5

a χ Nobody found her for several hours. When she arrived at the hospital, she came back to life.

b χ Anna tried to rescue a colleague who had an accident in the mountains.



Interviewer You have been looking at how the human body copes with very low temperatures. Is that right?

Scientist Yes, that’s right.

Interviewer And what have you found?

Scientist Well, it’s an interesting question. Of course, freezing temperatures are bad for the body. You can get frostbite if your skin freezes. And about two thirds of people whose body temperature falls below 28° Celsius actually die. But at the same time, there are some people who have survived much lower body temperatures – and made a full recovery.

Interviewer Can you give us an example?

Scientist Yes. There’s the famous case of a Swedish doctor called Anna Bågenholm. She was skiing in the mountains in Norway when she had an accident.

Interviewer How did the accident happen?

Scientist Well, she went skiing with two colleagues from hospital – Anna was a doctor, you see, and was studying to become a surgeon. Anyway, the three of them were skiing down a steep mountain when Anna lost control of her skis. She fell onto a sheet of ice, which was actually the surface of a stream. The ice broke and Anna fell headfirst through the hole, as far as her waist. Beneath the ice was water, freezing cold water.

Interviewer What did her two friends do?

Scientist Well, they tried to pull her out by her legs – but she was trapped under the ice. She could breathe, because there was some air between the ice and the water, but she couldn’t move. After trying for seven minutes to free her, her two colleagues gave up and phoned for help.

Interviewer And did help arrive quickly?

Scientist Two rescue teams set off to help Anna, one from the top of the mountain and one from the bottom. The one from the top arrived first, but they couldn’t pull her out of the ice.

Interviewer What about the second team?

Scientist The second team managed to get her out by cutting a hole in the ice. But by the time they got her free, she had been in the freezing water for 80 minutes. Anna was not breathing and her heart was not beating. A helicopter took her to hospital. When she arrived, her body temperature was 13.7° Celsius. According to the doctor in charge of the emergency room, Anna was ice cold and looked dead.

Interviewer But I guess she wasn’t.

Scientist Well, no. There’s an expression among some doctors: ‘You aren’t dead until you’re warm and dead.’ In other words, sometimes people who are extremely cold can come back to life when they get warmer. Doctors at the hospital worked for nine hours to save Anna. When her temperature had risen to 36.4° Celsius, her heart started beating again. Gradually, after and days and weeks, Anna made a full recovery.

Interviewer That’s amazing.

Scientist Yes, and in 2009, ten years after the accident, Anna got a job working as a doctor in the hospital that had saved her life!


Exercise 6 

1 F About two thirds of people whose body temperature drops to below 28°C do not survive.

2 T

3 F The second rescue team cut a hole in the ice and pulled her out.

4 F Anna’s body temperature was 13.7°C when she arrived at the hospital.

5 T

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