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The Smallest Genome

A group of synthetic biologists report they've created an organism with a minimum number of genes required for survival and reproduction. Humans have about 20,000 genes, and this new single-celled organism has only 473 genes. That makes it the smallest genome of any known living thing that can reproduce. The goal is to be able to design cells that could produce new industrial products such as chemicals and fuels from raw materials. Listen to hear more about the potential of this new creation.

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Story Length: 3:19

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234