Why Knut died – level 3

03-09-2015 07:00

Scientists have finally cracked the mystery of the death of Knut, a celebrity polar bear who died at Berlin Zoo in 2011 when he was just four years old.

Knut won global fame after being rejected by his mother at birth and instead hand-reared by his keeper. He died suddenly in March 2011 after falling into his enclosure pool. And while a post mortem revealed Knut had encephalitis or swollen brain, scientists remained puzzled by the exact cause of the illness. But now, animal experts say they’ve solved the riddle after testing a sample of the polar bear’s brain for a condition known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.

“We had all the samples we needed to test it, so together with Harold we started a project and within six or eight weeks we had determined that’s exactly what Knut had. And so, that solved that case, explained our results from our pathogen screening and told us this is why Knut had encephalitis, this is what caused him to lose his balance and drown in the water.”

The disease is relatively uncommon, affecting around 200,000 people a year and this is the first time it’s ever been diagnosed in an animal. The findings were published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

Difficult words: post mortem (examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain; swollen brain), swollen (to become bigger and painful, usually because of an infection), puzzled (not able to understand), riddle (mystery), diagnose (to say what caused a problem).

Source: www.ondemandnews.com


If you read and listen to two articles every day, your reading and listening skills can improve fast. You can learn quickly and after some time you will not have to translate into your own language. You will simply understand. Why should you do this?

When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.

Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

You also have to hear every new word 5 to 10 times if you want to remember it. That’s why we use the same words in one level. If you read and hear the same words again and again, you will understand them and remember them. If you know words from one level, you can go to a higher level and learn new words. It is important to go step by step, and read and listen to words which are used in English often. This is what we do with our news. In our short news, we use words which are used in English often. Level 1 has the 1000 most important words. Level 2 has the 2000 most important words, Level 3 has the 3000 most important words.

So, if you want to understand English fast and learn fast, read two articles or more a day. You can improve your reading and listening quickly when you read easy English news. We will help you learn English fast and understand it. When you use this website every day, you can learn 3000 words which you need for communication with anybody in English.

How to improve your English with News in Levels: 


  1. Read all today’s articles and translate all words which you don’t understand.
  2. Read the articles from the day before and see if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to all today’s news.
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  1. Answer the questions under today’s news and write them into the comments.
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