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Killing bacteria is BAD??

Hello everyone!

Yes, today’s post is about bacteria (plural*), phages and superbugs, which is probably best for students studying at Ensino Medio, IELTS, TOEFL, SAT and ENEM level. We here at really celebrate students who punch above their weight’ (try things that are harder) so, be proud of yourselves if you are reading this. If you are at the right level, welcome, you’re going to learn about something really cool today!

Looking to the future, current antibiotics aren’t going to work for much longer. Wondering how and why?

*bacterium (singular)


Why would make antibiotics stop working?


Video Time – before you watch

Video context: In a nutshell, this video says that super bacteria have come about because viruses have gotten too strong. They’ve evolved. Antibiotics that used to destroy the outside part of the viruses’ body can’t do that anymore. There are a couple of ways in which viruses have developed to protect themselves.

Some words that might challenge you


  • Masters of survival – something that is very, very good at staying alive
  • harmless – something that doesn’t do any damage to you
  • the vast majority – the largest amount of something
  • immune system – the part of your body that fights infections
  • less of a threat – something is not as dangerous
  • intercepting the antibiotics – by finding the antibiotics


Can you summarise the video in your own words? Try and refer to specific examples from the video in your answer.

Interactive Reading Exercise

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1. B
2. C
3. D
4. B
5. A
6. D
7. B
8. The doctor told Silvia that most of the germs that were making her throat hurt were killed easily by a few doses of antibiotics. But some germs were tougher, and she needed more doses of the drug to kill them. When she stopped taking the antibiotic, she left the toughest germs alive. These bacteria reproduced, and so Silvia had many of the toughest kind causing her sore throat.
9. Answers may vary but should resemble the following. if people take antibiotics when they don’t need them, they will kill off the “friendly” bacteria too. The friendly bacteria help keep the bad bugs from growing as quickly. When the good germs die, the bad germs grow faster. People could get really sick if they take antibiotics when they don’t need them.
10. Answers may vary but should be supported by the text. Students may note that if you don’t take all of the doses of antibiotics in your prescription, the toughest germs are left alive and can make you even sicker. In addition, these germs reproduce and become more and more resistant to antibiotics. Students may also note that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them kills off the “friendly” bacteria, which allows bad germs to grow faster. People could get really sick if they take antibiotics when they don’t need them. It’s important to be responsible and take only the antibiotics you need to stay healthy.

Featured Image by

The New Yorker: Eye of Science

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