[157] African rats used to detect bombs and TB


African rats used to detect bombs and TB An organization in Tanzania is training large rats to detect land mines that remain in the ground long after a war is finished. The Giant Pouched Rats, which are indigenous to Africa, weigh only about 1 kilogram, so they are too light to set off the land mines. They do however have a very advanced sense of smell that can detect explosives. The rats are now working in Angola, Mozambique, and the Thai-Cambodian border. The training organization, called Apopo , also has a successful program that uses rats to detect the smell of tuberculosis in hospital patient samples. So far they have detected 7,000 TB cases that were missed by standard laboratory tests. Apopo calls the rats “Hero-rats.”

Land mine: 地雷
TB/tuberculosis: 結核症
indigenous: 在来種


more or less

Omar: Have you finished packing for your trip to Abu Dhabi?

Hitomi: I’ve packed all of my clothes, more or less, and I still have to pack a couple of souvenirs for my friends, and some shoes. It shouldn’t take long to finish.

Explanation: When we say that we have done something “more or less,” we mean that we have almost done it, or we are close to finishing it. We can use it in many situations, such as saying “The new battery-powered motorcycle is more or less a bicycle with a battery.”

pack: 荷物を作る



Patient: Are there any side effects of taking this drug?

Nurse: A small percentage of patients may feel nauseous after taking the drug. So if you feel very sick, please stop taking the drug and call the clinic.

Explanation: The phrase “nauseous” comes from ancient Greek, meaning ‘the feeling of being in a ship.’ It is the same root word as “navy” and “navigation.” It is pronounced like the words “now+she+us” The noun is “nausea,” and the adjective is “nauseous.”

nausea/nauseous: 吐き気 ・嘔気


customer acquisition cost

Dear Megan:

We had a big party for our new product and spent ten thousand dollars, but we only got two new clients. That means our customer acquisition cost is five thousand dollars. We need to think of a cheaper way to promote our products.

Explanation: The “customer acquisition cost” is the amount of money that needs to be spent to get each new customer.

customer: お客さん
acquisition cost: 取得・取得原価