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BI HC, READING 293

Reading 9: Health Stem Cell


Duc Thang Bui October 18, 2012

y l mt bi chuyn ngnh y nhng kh cng nh cc bi Reading Test thi.

Stem cell treatment restores hearing in deaf gerbils


A study published today in the journal Nature reports how researchers have restored responses to sounds in deaf gerbils using stem cells. The findings, part-funded by the Wellcome Trust, could pave the way for a cellbased therapy for a common form of hearing loss in humans. Deafness can be caused by the loss of sensory hair cells in the ear or by damage to the associated neurons that are responsible for transmitting sound signals to the brain. The study used a model of hearing loss in gerbils that is similar to a human condition known as auditory neuropathy. In people affected by auditory neuropathy, sound enters the inner ear normally but the transmission of signals from the inner ear to the brain is impaired owing to damage to the auditory neurons. This type of deafness is thought to affect up to 15 per cent of the population across the world with profound hearing loss. The team developed a method of generating both sensory hair cells and auditory neurons from human embryonic stem cells. They found that when they transplanted the neurons into deaf gerbils, they could obtain a functional recovery in response to sound of around 46 per cent in some animals. The team used a technique called auditory brainstem evoked responses (ABR), which measures whether the brain can perceive an electrical signal after sound stimulation. They found that an improvement was evident about four weeks after administering the cells. The responses of the treated animals were substantially better than those untreated, although the range of improvement was broad. Some subjects did very well, whereas recovery was poor in others. Dr Marcelo Rivolta from the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield, who led the project, explains: We believe this is an important step forward. We have now a method to produce human cochlear sensory cells that we could use to develop new drugs and treatments and to study the function of genes. And, more importantly, we have the proof-of-concept that human stem cells could be used to repair the damaged ear. The researchers point out that more research is needed before this therapy could be applied to humans, however. Dr Rivolta adds: We want to understand the long-term implications of this treatment and its safety. Moreover, while in auditory neuropathy patients that retain their hair cells the sole application of stem cells could be beneficial, those with more comprehensive damage may need a cochlear implant to compensate for

the hair cell deficit. In these patients, it is possible that stem cells should be administered in combination with a cochlear implant. It is therefore important to explore this interaction. Dr Ralph Holme, Head of Biomedical Research for Action on Hearing Loss, said: The research we have funded at the University of Sheffield is tremendously encouraging and gives us real hope that it will be possible to fix the actual cause of some types of hearing loss in the future. For the millions of people for whom hearing loss is eroding their quality of life, this cant come soon enough. Cochlear implants offer a partial solution for deafness that is caused by loss of hair cells. However, there is currently no treatment available for the loss of sensory neurons that transmit sound information to the brain. This new approach could offer a solution to a wider range of patients if used in combination with cochlear implants, say the researchers. The study was funded by Action on Hearing Loss, the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and Deafness Research UK. (Ngun wellcome.ac.uk) Bi vit ny bn cnh nhng t chuyn mn y th mnh highlight nh ng c m academic hay c nh cng ch nh: 1/ stem cell treatment/cell-based therapy: phng php i u tr b ng t bo g c 2/ pave the way for: m ng cho vic g 3/ owing to/due to damage to: do gy tn hi n ci g 4/ long-term implications: tc ng lu di 5/ give us real hope: mang n tia hy vng 6/ erode their quality of life: suy gim cht l ng cuc sng 7/ offer a solution to a wider range of patients: mang l i gi i php cho s l ng l n h n cc b nh nhn 8/ compensate for the hair cell deficit: b cho s thiu h t cc t bo s i (g ch chn gi i t for) 9/ administer in combination with: iu tr cng vi ci g (Note: administer l t academic, ngoi ngh a v qu n l hnh chnh th cn mang ngha l iu tr trong y h c) Lu : vi nhng bi bo thuc ch nh v c mt s t chuyn ngnh l (nh ki u auditory neuropathy nh bi ny th mi ngi khng qu quan tm n ngh a ca nh ng t , c c ton bi v n m chnh l c. Trong mn reading hay c kiu: mt l kiu bi m nhiu t l l tho t trng kh d ! s nh ng t l i n gi n nn cu hi cng d! n im. Cn loi th 2 th ch quen thuc, t vng cng khng qu kh nh ng cu hi li cc xoay v nhiu b"y . Vic ca ti mnh khi n t#p l c g ng lm quen v i c 2 d ng ny nh:D )

BI HC, READING 254

Reading 10: Education Learning English in Japan


Duc Thang Bui October 18, 2012

Bi bo ny c ng trn t The Washington Post, hy vng c nh s$ sm c c thnh cng vi ting Anh nh cc doanh nghip Nh#t trong bi nh;) Bi bo ny di 3 trang nh ng r t d ! theo di v s % d ng ton t c bn thi, c nh th% sc i coi nh

A survival skill in shrinking Japan: Learn English


By Chico Harlan Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani decided two years ago that the employees at his company, Rakuten Inc., should work almost entirely in English. The idea, he said, was a daring and drastic attempt to counter Japans shrinking place in the world. Japanese people think its so difficult to speak English, Mikitani said. But we need to break the shell. With the move, which took effect at the beginning of last month, Mikitani turned his e-commerce company an Amazon competitor into a test case for corporate Japans survival strategy. As Japans population declines, all but guaranteeing ever-decreasing domestic business, companies here are grappling with how they should interact with the world and whether they can do it successfully. The country has both a dread of English and an understandable attachment to its own ornate business customs. Those idiosyncrasies made Japan a bewildering but envied powerhouse during its economic boom. They now make Japan a poor match, experts say, for global business. Mikitani took a step few other companies here have dared because, he said, he thought it would help his company expand and thrive. He also wanted to prove a point that Japanese, counter to the stereotype, could embrace the risks and embarrassment that come with learning a foreign language. At the time of the 2010 announcement, only about 10 percent of Rakutens 6,000 Japanese employees could function in English, according to a case study by the Harvard Business School. Rakuten operated in just two foreign countries it has since expanded into 10 more and most of its business came from Japan. Critics argued that Rakutens employees, forced to hold meetings and write memos in English, would simply become less articulate, less efficient, and far less happy. At times, the two-year transition from Japanese to English dubbed by the company as Englishization has been as awkward as the term itself. Workers were told they would face demotions if they didnt reach target test scores, and a handful of employees quit, Mikitani said. Other workers, quoted without the use of their names in the 2011 Harvard case study, saw it as an exercise in perpetual humiliation or as a layoff tool.

Rakutens emphasis on English has sparked a huge debate among companies that are trying to globalize, Accentures Japan-based executive Chikatomo Hodo said in a December 2011 edition of the Nikkei Business magazine. Many say, We want to do it, too, but it would be detrimental to the companys organization and management & because English-averse senior management would bristle, Hodo said. When Mikitani announced his plan, Hondas chief executive, Takanobu Ito, said it was stupid for a company to use primarily English when its workforce was mostly Japanese. But at least one other major Japanese company, Fast Retailing Co., which operates the Uniqlo clothing chain, is following Rakutens path, though not as drastically. It has an English education program for employees, and in March, it began to use English for meetings and e-mails with non-Japanese workers, a company spokesman said. Movies, apps and flashcards At Rakuten, workers scrambled to improve their language skills by the July 1, 2012, target date, after which all major internal documents and meetings were to be in English. About 75 percent of Rakutens employees are based in Japan, the company says, and its foreign employees face the same language requirements. The company initially said workers had to study on their own time, and it offered almost no guidance on how they should learn. It also provided no money for classes or books. Employees say they watched English movies and emptied shelves in the foreign language sections of bookstores. They downloaded iPhone apps. They made flashcards. Some groused. Others found humor in the situation, as a group of employees all members of Rakutens fiveperson Englishnization planning team recounted in a recent interview at company headquarters. I commute for one hour [daily], and I studied on the train, said Naoki Fujimoto, an employee who started out knowing little English. If you see people studying English on the train, said Wataru Taguchi, its usually a Rakuten employee. By April 2011, though, Mikitani and other executives were worrying, said Kyle Yee, a Canadian who led the English-only switch. Test scores werent rising as quickly as they had hoped, and executives became aware of worker dissatisfaction with the transition. The company began holding classes, mornings and nights, in a massive conference room. For some employees, that wasnt enough. There were some staff, they basically stopped eating lunch so they could study then as well, Yee said. Curriculum shift Mikitani, Japans third-richest man, lived in Connecticut as a boy and received an MBA from Harvard. He speaks English with fluency and charisma, as he showed in a recent speech that touched on the failures of Japans English education system.

Japanese study more than 3,000 hours of English, he said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. And when you study more than 3,000 hours of English and you cannot speak English, there is a huge issue. Its a huge waste of time. English is required for all Japanese middle and high school students. But measured by scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, Japan ranks 27th among 30Asian countries in English proficiency, behind North Korea and Afghanistan, ahead of only Laos, Tajikistan and Cambodia. (Educational Testing Service, which administers TOEFL, discourages such comparisons across countries, underscoring that its test is only accurate for individuals.) The ineptitude has withstood decades of government attempts to overhaul the curriculum and cultivate better teachers. Several years ago, education authorities here decided to begin English classes in the fifth grade rather than seventh. Japan has also tried to shift the emphasis in lessons from memorization and grammar to conversation, said Haruna Yumioka, an international education chief at Japans Education Ministry. Say hello Minutes before the first company-wide meeting after the July 1 deadline, several thousand employees filed in among rows of narrow folding chairs. They whispered sumimasen excuse me as others stood up to make way. Good morning, Mikitani said. Good morning, the room boomed. In the two years since the announcement, employees test scores had improved sharply, Mikitani said. About 80 percent of executive meetings were being conducted in English. It was enough that Mikitani declared the transition a success. He said his company was ready for the next step. From now on, the company standard language will be English, Mikitani said. The only thing I would like to emphasize is, dont be shy. The new English policy doesnt entirely outlaw Japanese. But English is required for all internal e-mails, meeting memos, internal presentations and formal meetings. It is also to be used in training sessions. The company also has major expansion plans. It hopes to operate in 27 countries within a few years, Mikitani said, up from the current 13, and it plans to drive overseas business from the current 10 percent of sales to 70 percent. But the results, on the ground level, are harder to assess. One member of the creative and Web design department, Akihiro Miyata, 36, chosen by Rakutens media staff for an interview, has an above-average test score. But thats good enough only to convey simple ideas, and during the interview, he occasionally shifted to Japanese to express himself more accurately. (Like many Tokyo employees, he still speaks Japanese during lunch, he added.)

Nobody has yet been demoted for falling short of English benchmarks, Yee said, but it could happen in the coming weeks as the company receives scores from last-ditch test-taking attempts. Because of its English-only policy, executives say, Rakuten now attracts talent from around the world; one in three hires is non-Japanese. Mikitani says employees in the Tokyo headquarters now communicate better with overseas subsidiaries. Tech developers benefit, too, because they can attend global conferences and perform Web research in English. At the meeting, Mikitani congratulated his employees on their achievements. He also introduced a group of 34 foreign managers visiting from overseas. Stand up, wave, he asked those in the group. They did. When you see these guys, say hello, Mikitani continued. And discuss with them whatever you want to discuss. Because you can speak English now. (Theo Washington Post) 1/ daring and drastic attempt: n' lc to bo v quyt lit 2/ embrace the risks: g(p phi nhng ri ro 3/ function in English: thao tc/lm vic bng ting Anh 4/ to be detrimental to the companys organization: gy kh kh n cho cng tc t ch c (g ch chn gi i t to) 5/ commute for one hour daily: i t nh n cng s (th ng b ng tu i n ng )m) 1 ti ng m 'i ngy 6/ became aware of worker dissatisfaction: nh#n thc c s khng hi lng c a nhn vin 7/ speak English with fluency and charisma: ni ting Anh tri ch y, li cu n (Note: cch s % d ng with sau ng t rt hay g(p trong vn academic thay th bt cc adv, ch*ng h n: perform with ease thay v perform easily) 8/ a huge waste of time: ph qu nhiu thi gian/ spark a huge debate: chm ngi cho m t cu c tranh lu #n l n 9/ company-wide meeting: hp ton cng ty (Note: company-wide cng nhm v i nationwide hay worldwide) 10/ good enough to convey simple ideas: cho di!n t c b n