READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
THE SWINE FLU PANDEMIC
The swine flu pandemic has become more problematic. The White House will meet with state representatives on the 9th of July to talk about the preparation for the autumn flu season in the US, whilst the UK has focused their response on the H1N1 virus to cope with widespread infection.
In the meantime, the southern hemisphere is going into the middle of the winter flu season, and the swine H1N1 virus seems to be replacing the seasonal flu viruses that have been circulating until now. This is related to the seasonal flu vaccine which several companies are still producing. It could cause some problems when the northern hemisphere flu season comes at the end of this year.
The flu pandemics of 1918, 1957 and 1968 showed a high level of seasonal change and also released mild form of the H1N1 virus which circulates through the existing flu virus, H3N2. So, nobody knows how the H1N1 virus is going to behave. If it is not exchanged with the seasonal virus – the milder H1N1 and H3N2 – the world is facing the prospect of catching all three viruses at once. It would be a complicated scenario, as both seasonal and pandemic vaccines would be wanted and patients from different age groups would be affected. Although based on what is happening in the southern hemisphere, it does not seem that this will be the case.
In the northern hemisphere, swine flu has spread to the extent that over 98% of flu cases genotyped in the US towards the end of June were caused by the pandemic virus. This is to be expected. Whilst the seasonal flu viruses generally die out during the summer season, the pandemic virus can be more powerful as fewer people have built up immunity to it.
The state of Victoria in Australia reported this week that the H1N1 virus is now considered for 99% of all flu cases. There are reports of a similar situation in South America. In Chile, the H1N1 virus is also much stronger than other seasonal viruses. “98% of the flu cases we now take are caused by H1N1,” Jeanette Vega, Chile’s undersecretary of public health, said last week about a pandemic peak in Cancun, Mexico. “The seasonal vaccine is not used.”
In the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, Juan Manzur, the health minister, reported last week about the emergency situation in that 90% of the flu is a result of the H1N1 virus.
During this winter in the northern hemisphere, it is an important matter. “If the pandemic virus greatly attacks the seasonal viruses in a regular flu season, the seasonal viruses are likely to be exchanged by the new virus, like in the 1968 pandemic,” says Ab Osterhaus in the University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
In previous pandemics, the virus has changed, producing negative side effects. So far for H1N1, there have only been a few ominous signs.
The mutation of the virus’s polymerase enzyme has been replicated efficiently from a sample taken in Shanghai. Ron Fouchier at the University of Rotterdam says that this could spread if it makes the virus more contagious, but the virus may also improve pathogenicity.
Also last week, two cases of the H1N1 virus with resistance to the main antiviral drug, Tamiflu, were found in people using the drug. Another was found in a girl who had never taken the drug, suggesting Tamiflu – resistant to the H1N1 virus might already be in circulation.
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-9 on your answer sheet.
There is currently a severe problem of 1…………………………… in the world, especially both the US and the UK are making strenuous efforts to solve the problem.
In the meantime, during the middle of winter flu season, 2……………………………. is likely to substitute the seasonal flu viruses in the southern hemisphere. Also, over 98 per cent out of flu cases genotyped in the US were generated by 3……………………….. Whilst seasonal flu viruses usually fade away in 4……………………….., the pandemic virus has the advantage that few people have immunity to it.
There are reports that the H1N1 virus accounts for more than 90 per cent of all flu cases in countries, such as 5………………………….., 6…………………………… and 7……………………………
According to Ab Osterhaus, 8…………………………… in a regular flu season can be replaced by the pandemic virus. A new virus was found to be resistant to the antiviral drug, 9………………………….
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement reflects the opinion of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the opinion of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
10 The UK and the US had discussed and worked together on the swine flu pandemic in the past.
11 Over 98 per cent of flu cases in the US was motivated by the pandemic virus.
12 In Argentina, 60 per cent of the flu virus in circulation is the H1N1 virus.
13 Tamiflu is the crucial antiviral medicine which is resistant to the H1N1 virus.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-28 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
Mission to Collect Materials on the Moon
Whilst the world watched in excitement as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, planetary scientists were focused on something else. For them, the value of the mission was is the cargo they brought back to earth. By the time Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into the lunar module for the last time, they had gathered 22 kilograms of moon rocks, completely filling a small suitcase. Over five Apollo crews brought back a total collection of 382 kilograms of material containing 2,200 samples.
The rocks were known at the time as a scientific treasure and they did not disappoint. Paul Spudis, a geologist of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, said, “Our ideas about planetary formation and evolution must be rewritten after the discoveries made by the Apollo crews.” Harold Urey, a Nobel prizewinner, and one of the advocates of lunar exploration had predicted that the moon was composed of primitive meteoritic material. But his conclusion was wrong. Some of the rocks looked just like the rocks on earth.
Many clues that the lunar rocks contained have taken a couple of years to effectively analyse. Also, some of the conclusions are still debated. A big surprise was the evidence that the early moon was covered by a lot of molten rock. The moon’s mountainous regions are made of anorthosite, a rare rock on earth that forms when light, aluminum-rich minerals float to the top of lave.
Nowadays, the smart money is on the idea that the moon was created as a result of something that occurred around 50 million years after the solar system was created when the Earth was in its infancy. From his hypothesis, the earliest Earth ran into a planet that was a similar size to Mars and debris from the collision went into orbit around the Earth which rapidly came together to form the moon.
The “giant impact” scenario led to a radical re-evaluation of the history of the early solar system. Before Apollo, planetary scientists watched the collection of objects orbiting the sun like a clockwork mechanism in which collisions were rare and trivial. Now, it is accepted as being a far more active environment, shuffling, colliding or ejecting. This history of all the inner planets has been shaped by collisions and nowhere is that history more visible than the moon.
Another surprise was the rocks from the moon’s largest impact craters indicate that all craters are roughly the same age, between 3.8 and 4 billion years old. It never coincided. The moon and, by extension, the Earth must have been caused by a devastating barrage half a billion years after the solar system formed. To cause this process, something big must have been going back to the outer solar system, but what? Surprisingly, this episode in the history of the solar system has come to be known as the last heavy bombardment and ended at roughly the same time as the first signs of life on earth.
These key discoveries about our planet’s history may never have been made without the samples taken from the moon for chemical analysis and isotopic dating. So, do the Apollo rocks hide any more secrets? All 2,200 samples have been researched, and Randy Korotev, a lunar geochemist at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, says that it is unlikely that there will be anything groundbreaking left to find from them. However, they may yet keep some more delicate secrets. Korotev says, “We are steadily developing better tools and asking better questions.” Especially, the instruments for dating mineral samples have been more delicate, enabling researchers to study the age of ever smaller samples, like tiny mineral grains within a rock.
These techniques have stimulated a rethink of some key dates in lunar history in the past two years. A team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology dated the formation of the moon’s magma oceans. Also, by inference, the creation of the moon itself is estimated to have happened between 20 and 30 million years later than we originally thought, at approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Alexander Nemchin with five colleagues in the Cutin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia also estimated that a lunar zircon was around 4.417 billion years old when the last of the magma oceans solidified.
The Apollo rock samples are not finished answering some of the bigger picture questions. What will we discover on the opposite side of the moon’s surface that we are unable to see from the Earth? Can we put together a detailed history of the lava flows that formed the basalts of the lunar seas? Can we discover any samples from deep inside the moon? These are all seen as very good reasons for coming back to the moon. The big picture needs more samples, more data and more contexts. According to Gary Lofgren, a curator of NASA’s lunar rock collection at Johnson Space Centre in Houston, “There’s no lack of target and scientific questions. It’s not just about the moon but about the solar system’s history. This is the lesson that we have learned from Apollo.”
Reading Passage 2 has nine paragraphs, A-I.
Choose the correct heading for paragraphs B-I from the list of headings below.
Write the correct number, i-ix, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i The scientific value of the rocks
ii The craters of the moon
iii The mission to collect material on the moon
iv The impact of the rocks discovered
v The surprising evidence about the moon
vi The history of the early solar system
vii The unknown questions left for future
viii NASA’s lunar rock collection
ix Study of lunar history
Paragraph A iii
14 Paragraph B
15 Paragraph C
16 Paragraph E
17 Paragraph F
18 Paragraph G
19 Paragraph H
20 Paragraph I
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in boxes 21-23 on your answer sheet.
21 The scenario “giant impact” is mainly concerned with
A ways of finding the history of the early solar system.
B the history of the early solar craters.
C the origin of the earth.
D ways of learning about orbiting the sun.
22 The samples were taken from the moon help
A planetary scientists to make tools for dating mineral.
B geochemists to study some craters.
C planetary scientists to make key discoveries about the earth’s history.
D geologists to predict the moon’s primitive material.
23 Gary Lofgren’s quote says that when we try to remember things,
A the remaining big-picture questions will never come true.
B the history of the lava flows will be returned.
C plenty of targets and scientific questions will be collected.
D the earth’s development will be the milestone in the solar system’s history
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 24-28 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
24 The rocks which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin collected were more valuable than those of Russian astronauts.
25 The lunar rocks taken are critical to beginning to understand history.
26 All craters on the moon are of a similar age, up to 5 billion years old.
27 The main clues for discovering the earthquake are given by the samples taken from the moon.
28 The half of the moon’s surface that we can never see is related to the solar system’s history.
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
As Darwin discovered his evolution theory, the earliest known fossils were left in rocks which he called the Silurian age. Older rocks seemed to contain no fossils. The apparently sudden appearance of subtle animals like trilobites was not inconsistent with Darwin’s thoughts of gradual evolution. “If my theory will be true, it is unquestionable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited … the world swarmed with living creatures. To the question of why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer,” Darwin wrote in the first edition of On the Origin of Species. His puzzle is known as Darwin’s dilemma.
Of course, we have discovered a lot of fossils from the earliest periods. Rocks of 3.8 billion years old have signs of life, and the first recognizable bacteria come out in rocks of 3.5 billion years old. During the Ediacaran, approximately one billion years ago, multi-cellular plants with red and green algae appeared and approximately 575 million years ago was found in the first multi-cellular animals.
Even so, there are many perplexing questions. Why did animals evolve so late in the day? And why did the ancestors of modern animals apparently evolve in a geological blink of an eye during the early Cambrian period between 542 and 520 million years ago? Recently, a series of discoveries could help to explain these long-lasting mysteries. These discoveries suggest that the earliest animals evolved much earlier than we thought, perhaps over 850 million years ago. However, the really extraordinary part is that these early animals may have completely changed the planet, paving the way for the larger and more complex animals to follow them.
Several aspects of the biggest discoveries have come from an ancient seabed in China, called the Doushantuo Formation, where unusual conditions conserved some extraordinary fossils. During the last part of the Ediacaran period, layers between 550 and 580 million years old include tiny spheres made of from one to dozens of different cells – just like animals’ first embryos. A couple of things have suggested that they are the property of giant bacteria, but a series of studies over the past decade have left little doubt that they are really animal embryos.
Leiming Yin, a researcher at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology in China, reported discovering embryos encased inside hard, spiky shells unlike anything produced by bacteria in 2007. Furthermore, evidence of shells that apart from the deficiency of conserved embryos on the inside are identical can be seen in rocks as old as 632 million years – the appearance of the Ediacaran period – suggesting that the animal embryos themselves go back this far.
Other more tentative discoveries push the appearance of animals back even further. Roger Summons, a researcher in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his colleague Gordon Love studies brownish, oily sandstone cores drilled from 4 kilometres below the desert of Oman. The oily remains of dead organisms drifted down to the depths of ancient oceans, where they decomposed slowly because of the lack of oxygen. No visible fossils are present but within that oil are molecular fossils – chemicals taken from the ancient organisms. In layers that are 635 to 713 million years old, Summons and Love discovered 24-isopropylcholestane (24-IPC), a stable form of a kind of cholesterol that these days are only discovered in the cell membranes of certain sponges. “The sponge biomass must have been so substantial,” says Love, now at the University of California, Riverside. “They were ecologically outstanding.”
Fuel of Life
With the oceans changed, the stage was finally set for the evolution of more complicated body forms. The idea that increasing oxygen levels played a major role in the explosion of life during the Cambrian period is far from new, but most of the researchers attribute the increase in oceanic oxygen to the increase in the atmosphere. If Butterfield is right, it was basically because of animals taking over from bacteria. “These geochemical signatures [of oxygenation] are not causing the evolution of animals,” he insists. “They’re consequences of the dawn of animals.”
“He is right,” says Brasier. In fact, he thinks the link between complex life and the transformation of the planet runs even deeper. In Darwin’s Lost World, a book published earlier this year, Brasier suggests that the improved burial of carbon resulting from the rising of large cells and groups of cells – perhaps with plants like seaweed – sucked carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, setting off the series of ice ages that aided the first animals to wrestle for control of the oceans with bacteria. “Rather than being the cause of animal evolution, the ice ages may well have been the response to it,” he says.
Look at the following statements and the list of researchers below.
Match each statement with the correct researcher(s), A-E.
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 29-33 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
29 studied brownish, oily sandstone cores.
30 announced embryos on the inside surrounded by hard, spiky shells.
31 claimed that the expended burial of carbon resulted in the series of ice ages.
32 wrote in the first edition of On the Origin of Species.
33 discovered 24-isopropylcholestane.
List of Researchers
B Leiming Yin
C Summons and Love
D Elizabeth Turner
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 34-36 on your answer sheet.
34 What is an ancient seabed in China, conserving some weird fossils?
35 What made organisms decompose in the depths of ancient oceans?
36 What was written by Brasier to swell burial of carbon resulting from the rise of large cells and groups of cells?
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN FOUR WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
Fuel of Life
From the oceans fluctuated, 37……………………….. of increasing levels played a vital part in the increase of oceanic oxygen in the atmosphere. Actually, Brasier considers the connection of 38……………………… and 39………………………… goes deeper. According to Darwin’s Lost World, he claims that carbon burial was getting more inhaled 40………………………….. outside of the atmosphere, caused the series of ice ages that was supported with the first organism generated from bacteria.