READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Koalas are just too nice for their own good. And except for the occasional baby taken by birds of prey, koalas have no natural enemies. In an ideal world, the life of an arboreal couch potato would be perfectly safe and acceptable.
Just two hundred years ago, koalas flourished across Australia. Now they seem to be in decline, but exact numbers are not available as the species would not seem to be ‘under threat’. Their problem, however, has been man, more specifically, the white man. Koala and aborigine had co-existed peacefully for centuries.
Today koalas are found only in scattered pockets of southeast Australia, where they seem to be at risk on several fronts. The koala’s only food source, the eucalyptus tree has declined. In the past 200 years, a third of Australia’s eucalyptus forests have disappeared. Koalas have been killed by parasites, chlamydia epidemics and a tumour-causing retro-virus. And every year 11000 are killed by cars, ironically most of them in wildlife sanctuaries, and thousands are killed by poachers. Some are also taken illegally as pets. The animals usually soon die, but they are easily replaced.
Bush fires pose another threat. The horrific ones that raged in New South Wales recently killed between 100 and 1000 koalas. Many that were taken into sanctuaries and shelters were found to have burnt their paws on the glowing embers. But zoologists say that the species should recover. The koalas will be aided by the eucalyptus, which grows quickly and is already burgeoning forth after the fires. So the main problem to their survival is their slow reproductive rate – they produce only one baby a year over a reproductive lifespan of about nine years.
The latest problem for the species is perhaps more insidious. With plush, grey fur, dark amber eyes and button nose, koalas are cuddliness incarnate. Australian zoos and wildlife parks have taken advantage of their uncomplaining attitudes, and charge visitors to be photographed hugging the furry bundles. But people may not realise how cruel this is, but because of the koala’s delicate disposition, constant handling can push an already precariously balanced physiology over the edge.
Koalas only eat the foliage of certain species of eucalyptus trees, between 600 and 1250 grams a day. The tough leaves are packed with cellulose, tannins, aromatic oils and precursors of toxic cyanides. To handle this cocktail, koalas have a specialised digestive system. Cellulose- digesting bacteria in the break down fibre, while a specially adapted gut and liver process the toxins. To digest their food properly, koalas must sit still for 21 hours every day.
Koalas are the epitome of innocence and inoffensiveness. Although they are capable of ripping open a man’s arm with their needle-sharp claws, or giving a nasty nip, they simply wouldn’t. If you upset a koala, it may blink or swallow, or hiccup. But attack? No way! Koalas are just not aggressive. They use their claws to grip the hard smooth bark of eucalyptus trees.
They are also very sensitive, and the slightest upset can prevent them from breeding, cause them to go off their food, and succumb to gut infections. Koalas are stoic creatures and put on a brave face until they are at death’s door. One day they may appear healthy, the next they could be dead. Captive koalas have to be weighed daily to check that they are feeding properly. A sudden loss of weight is usually the only warning keepers have that their charge is ill. Only two keepers plus a vet were allowed to handle London Zoo’s koalas, as these creatures are only comfortable with people they know. A request for the koala to be taken to meet the Queen was refused because of the distress this would have caused the marsupial. Sadly, London’s Zoo no longer has a koala. Two years ago the female koala died of a cancer caused by a retrovirus. When they come into heat, female koalas become more active, and start losing weight, but after about sixteen days, heat ends and the weight piles back on. London’s koala did not. Surgery revealed hundreds of pea-sized tumours.
Almost every zoo in Australia has koalas – the marsupial has become the Animal Ambassador of the nation, but nowhere outside Australia would handling by the public be allowed. Koala cuddling screams in the face of every rule of good care. First, some zoos allow koalas to be passed from stranger to stranger, many children who love to squeeze. Secondly, most people have no idea of how to handle the animals; they like to cling on to their handler, all in their own good time and use his or her arm as a tree. For such reasons, the Association of Fauna and Marine parks, an Australian conservation society is campaigning to ban koala cuddling. Policy on koala handling is determined by state government authorities. “And the largest of the numbers in the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, with the aim of instituting national guidelines. Following a wave of publicity, some zoos and wildlife parks have stopped turning their koalas into photo.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
1 The main reason why koala declined is that they are killed EXCEPT FOR
A by poachers
B by diseases they got
C giving too many birth yet survived little!
D accidents on the road
2 What can help koalas folly digest their food?
A toxic substance in the leaves
B organs that dissolve the fibres
C remaining inactive for a period to digest
D eating eucalyptus trees
3 What would koalas do when facing the dangerous situation?
A show signs of being offended
B counter attack furiously
C use sharp claws to rip the man
D use claws to grip the bark of trees.
4 In what ways Australian zoos exploit koalas?
A encourage people to breed koalas as pets
B allow tourists to hug the koalas
C put them on the trees as a symbol
D establish a koala campaign
5 What would the government do to protect koalas from being endangered?
A introduce koala protection guidelines
B close some of the zoos
C encourage people to resist visiting the zoos
D persuade the public to learn more knowledge
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 6-12 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement agrees with the information
NO if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this passage
6 new coming human settlers caused danger to koalas.
7 Koalas can still be seen in most of the places in Australia.
8 it takes decade for the eucalyptus trees to recover after the fire.
9 Koalas will fight each other when food becomes scarce.
10 It is not easy to notice that koalas are ill.
11 Koalas are easily infected with human contagious disease via cuddling
12 Koalas like to hold a person’s arm when they are embraced.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in box 13 on your answer sheet.
From your opinion this article written by
A a journalist who write for magazine
B a zoo keeper in London Zoo.
C a tourist who traveling back from Australia
D a government official who studies koalas to establish a law
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
The Conquest of Malaria in Italy, 1900-1962
Mal-aria. Bad air. Even the world is Italian, and this horrible disease marked the life of those in the peninsula for thousands of years. Yet by 1962, Italy was officially declared malaria-free, and it has remained so ever since. Frank Snowden’s study of this success story takes us to areas historians have rarely visited before.
Everybody now knows that malaria is carried by mosquitoes. But in the 19th century, most experts believed that the disease was produced by “miasma” or “poisoning of the air”. Others made a link between swamps, water and malaria, but did not make the future leap towards insects. The consequences of these theories were that little was done to combat the disease before the end of the century. Things became so bad that 11m Italians (from a total population of 25m) were “permanently at risk”. In malarial zones the life expectancy of land workers was a terrifying 22.5 years. Those who escaped death were weakened or suffered from splenomegaly –a “painful enlargement of the spleen” and “a lifeless stare”. The economic impact of the disease was immense. Epidemics were blamed on southern Italians, given the widespread belief that malaria was hereditary. In the 1880s, such theories began to collapse as the dreaded mosquito was identified as the real culprit.
Italian scientists, drawing on the pioneering work of French doctor Alphonse Laveran, were able to predict the cycles of fever but it was in Rome that further key discoveries were made. Giovanni Battista Grassi, a naturalist, found that a particular type of mosquito was the carrier of malaria. By experimenting on healthy volunteers (mosquitoes were released into rooms where they drank the blood of the human guinea pigs), Grassi was able to make the direct link between the insects (all females of a certain kind) and the disease. Soon, doctors and scientists made another startling discovery: the mosquitoes themselves were also infected and not mere carriers. Every year, during the mosquito season, malarial blood was moved around the population by the insects. Definitive proof of these new theories was obtained after an extraordinary series of experiments in Italy, where healthy people were introduced into malarial zones but kept free of mosquito bites –and remained well. The new Italian state had the necessary information to tackle the disease.
A complicated approach was adopted, which made use of quinine –a drug obtained from tree bark which had long been used to combat fever, but was now seen as a crucial part of the war on malaria. Italy introduced a quinine law and a quinine tax in 1904, and the drug was administered to large numbers of rural workers. Despite its often terrible side-effects (the headaches produced were known as the “quinine-buzz”) the drug was successful in limiting the spread of the disease, and in breaking cycles of infection. In addition, Italy set up rural health centres and invested heavily in education programmes. Malaria, as Snowden shows, was not just a medical problem, but a social and regional issue, and could only be defeated through multilayered strategies. Politics was itself transformed by the anti-malarial campaigns. It was originally decided to give quinine to all those in certain regions – even healthy people; peasants were often suspicious of medicine being forced upon them. Doctors were sometimes met with hostility and refusal, and many were dubbed “poisoners”.
Despite these problems, the strategy was hugely successful. Deaths from malaria fell by some 80% in the first decade of the 20th century and some areas escaped altogether from the scourge of the disease. War, from 1915-18, delayed the campaign. Funds were diverted to the battlefields and the fight against malaria became a military issue, laying the way for the fascist approach to the problem. Mussolini’s policies in the 20s and 30s subjected to a serious cross-examination by Snowden. He shows how much of the regime’s claims to have “eradicated” malaria through massive land reclamation, forced population removals and authoritarian clean-ups were pure propaganda. Mass draining was instituted –often at a great cost as Mussolini waged war not on the disease itself, but on the mosquitoes that carried it. The cleansing of Italy was also ethnic, as “carefully selected” Italians were chosen to inhabit the gleaming new towns of the former marshlands around Rome. The “successes” under fascism were extremely vulnerable, based as they were on a top-down concept of eradication. As war swept through the drained lands in the 40s, the disease returned with a vengeance.
In the most shocking part of the book, Snowden describes –passionately, but with the skill of a great historian –how the retreating Nazi armies in Italy in 1934- 44 deliberately caused a massive malaria epidemic in Lazio. It was “the only known example of biological warfare in 20th century Europe”. Shamefully, the Italian malaria expert Alberto Missiroli had a role to play in the disaster: he did not distribute quinine, despite being well aware of the epidemic to come. Snowden claims that Missiroli was already preparing a new strategy –with the support of the US Rockefeller Foundation-using a new pesticide, DDT. Missiroli allowed the epidemic to spread, in order to create the ideal conditions for a massive, a lucrative, human experiment. Fifty-five thousand cases of malaria were recorded in the province of Littoria alone in 1944. It is estimated that more than a third of those in the affected area contracted the disease. Thousands, nobody knows how many, died. With the war over, the US government and the Rockefeller Foundation were free to experiment. DDT was sprayed from the air and 3m Italians had their bodies covered with the chemical. The effects were dramatic, and nobody really cared about the toxic effects of the chemical.
By 1962, malaria was more or less gone from the whole peninsula. The last cases were noted in a poor region of Sicily. One of the final victims to die of the disease in Italy was the popular cyclist, Fausto Coppi. He had contracted malaria in Africa in 1960, and the failure of doctors in the north of Italy to spot the disease was a sign of the times. A few decades earlier, they would have immediately noticed the tell-tale signs; it was later claimed that a small dose of quinine would have saved his life. As there are still more than 1m deaths every year from malaria worldwide, Snowden’s book also has contemporary relevance. This is a disease that affects every level of the societies where it is rampant. It also provides us with “a message of hope for a world struggling with the great present-day medical emergency”.
Complete the summary below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage.
Write your answer in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
Before the link between malaria and 14 ________ was established, there were many popular theories circulating among the public, one of which points to 15 ________, the unclean air. The lack of proper treatment affected the country so badly that rural people in malaria infested places had extremely short 16 ________. The disease spread so quickly, especially in the south of Italy, thus giving rise to the idea that the disease was 17________. People believed in these theories until mosquito was found to be the 18 ________ in the 1880s.
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 19-21 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
19 The volunteers of the Italian experiments that provided assuring evidence were from all over Italy.
20 It’s possible to come out of malarial zones alive.
21 The government successfully managed to give all people quinine medication.
Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 22-26 on your answer sheet.
22 A breakthrough in the theory of the cause of malaria
23 A story for today’s readers
24 A description of an expert who didn’t do anything to restrict the spread of disease
25 A setback in the battle against malaria due to government policies
26 A description of how malaria affects the human body
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Inspired by Mimicking Mother Nature
Using the environment not as an exploitable resource, but as a source of inspiration
Researchers and designers around the globe endeavor to create new technologies that, by honoring the tenets of life, are both highly efficient and often environmentally friendly. And while biomimicry is not a new concept (Leonardo da Vinci looked to nature to design his flying machines, for example, and pharmaceutical companies have long been miming plant organisms in synthetic drugs), there is a greater need for products and manufacturing processes that use a minimum of energy, materials, and toxins. What’s more, due to technological advancements and a newfound spirit of innovation among designers, there are now myriad ways to mimic Mother Nature’s best assets.
“We have a perfect storm happening right now,” says Jay Harman, an inventor and CEO of PAX Scientific, which designs fans, mixers, and pumps to achieve maximum efficiency by imitating the natural flow of fluids. “Shapes in nature are extremely simple once you understand them, but to understand what geometries are at play, and to adapt them, is a very complex process. We only just recently have had the computer power and manufacturing capability to produce these types of shapes.” “If we could capture nature’s efficiencies across the board, we could decrease dependency on fuel by at least 50 percent,” Harman says. “What we’re finding already with the tools and methodology we have right now is that we can reduce energy consumption by between 30 and 40 percent.”
It’s only recently that mainstream companies have begun to equate biomimicry with the bottom line. DaimlerChrysler, for example, introduced a prototype car modeled on a coral reef fish. Despite its boxy, cube-shaped body, which defies a long-held aerodynamic standard in automotive design (the raindrop shape), the streamlined boxfish proved to be aerodynamically ideal and the unique construction of its skin—numerous hexagonal, bony plates—a perfect recipe for designing a car of maximum strength with minimal weight.
Companies and communities are flocking to Janine Benyus, author of the landmark book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (Perennial, 2002) and cofounder of the Biomimicry Guild, which seats biologists at the table with researchers and designers at companies such as Nike, Interface carpets, Novell, and Procter & Gamble. Their objective is to marry industrial problems with natural solutions.
Benyus, who hopes companies will ultimately transcend mere product design to embrace nature on a more holistic level, breaks biomimicry into three tiers. On a basic (albeit complicated) level, industry will mimic nature’s precise and efficient shapes, structures, and geometries. The microstructure of the lotus leaf, for example, causes raindrops to bead and run off immediately, while self-cleaning and drying its surface—a discovery that the British paint company Sto has exploited in a line of building paints. The layered structure of a butterfly wing or a peacock plume, which creates iridescent color by refracting light, is being mimicked by cosmetics giant L’Oreal in a soon-to-be-released line of eye shadow, lipstick, and nail varnish.
The next level of biomimicry involves imitating natural processes and biochemical “recipes”: Engineers and scientists are now looking at the nasal glands of seabirds to solve the problem of desalination; the abalone’s ability to self-assemble its incredibly durable shell in water, using local ingredients, has inspired an alternative to the conventional, and often toxic, “heat, beat, and treat” manufacturing method. How other organisms deal with harmful bacteria can also be instructive: Researchers for the Australian company Biosignal, for instance, observed a seaweed that lives in an environment teeming with microbes to figure out how it kept free of the same sorts of bacterial colonies, called biofilms, that cause plaque on your teeth and clog up your bathroom drain. They determined that the seaweed uses natural chemicals, called furanones, that jam the cell-to-cell signaling systems that allow bacteria to communicate and gather.
Ultimately, the most sophisticated application of biomimicry, according to Benyus, is when a company starts seeing itself as an organism in an economic ecosystem that must make thrifty use of limited resources and creates symbiotic relationships with other organisms. A boardroom approach at this level begins with imagining any given company, or collection of industries, as a forest, prairie, or coral reef, with its own “food web”(manufacturing inputs and outputs) and asking whether waste products from one manufacturing process can be used, or perhaps sold, as an ingredient for another industrial activity. For instance, Geoffrey Coates, a chemist at Cornell, has developed a biodegradable plastic synthesized from carbon dioxide and limonene (a major component in the oil extracted from citrus rind) and is working with a cement factory to trap their waste CO2 and use it as an ingredient.
Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI), a global network of scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators, has initiated eco-industrial projects that attempt to find ways to reuse all wastes as raw materials for other processes. Storm Brewing in Newfoundland, Canada—in one of a growing number of projects around the world applying ZERI principles—is using spent grains, a by-product of the beer-making process, to make bread and grow mushrooms.
As industries continue to adopt nature’s models, entire manufacturing processes could operate locally, with local ingredients like the factories that use liquefied beach sand to make windshields. As more scientists and engineers begin to embrace biomimicry, natural organisms will come to be regarded as mentors, their processes deemed masterful.
Look at the following descriptions mentioned in Reading Passage 3.
Match the three kinds of levels (A-C) listed below the descriptions.
Write the appropriate letters, A-C, in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.
A First level: mimic nature’s precise and efficient shapes, structures, and geometries
B Second level: imitating natural processes and biochemical ‘recipes’
C Third level: creates symbiotic relationships with other like organisms
27 Synthesized Plastic, developed together with cement factory, can recycle waste gas.
28 Cosmetics companies produce a series of shine cosmetics colours
29 People are inspired how to remove excess salt inspired by nature.
30 Daimler Chrysler introduced a fish-shaped car.
31 Marine plan company integrated itself into a part in economic ecosystem
32 natural chemicals developed based on seaweed known to kill bacteria
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 33-40 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
33 Biomimicry is a totally new concept that has been unveiled recently.
34 Leonardo da Vinci has been the first designer to mimic nature
35 Scientists believe it involves more than mimicking the shape to capture the design in nature
36 We can save the utilisation of energy by up to 40% if we take advantage of the current findings.
37 Daimler Chrysler’s prototype car modelled on a coral reef fish is a best-seller.
38 Some great companies and communities themselves are seeking solutions beyond their own industrial scope
39 The British paint company Sto did not make the microstructure of the lotus leaf, applicable
40 a Canadian beer Company increased the production by applying ZERI principles