LPE005 Reading Comprehension

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Questions 1 – 6: Choose the best multiple-choice answer for each question.

In a forest near the sea, there was an old oak tree. It had lived for 365 years, which was like a whole year for us humans. Unlike us, the tree didn't sleep at night. It had to stay awake during three seasons—spring, summer, and autumn—until it finally rested in winter. During warm summers, short-lived flies called Ephemera would fly around the oak tree. The tree would feel sorry for them, as their entire lives lasted only one day. It thought their lives must be very sad and short.

(Adapted from ‘The Last Dream of Old Oak’, Hans Christian Andersen, 1858)

What makes the old oak tree feel sorry for the Ephemera flies?

They can only live for a single day.
They enjoy fluttering around in the forest.
They rest on the tree's large leaves during summer.
They stay awake during all seasons of the year.
NASA to Provide Coverage as Dragon Departs Station with Science

Ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will command Dragon to undock from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module and fire its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station.

After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown about 10:20 a.m. Friday, June 30, off the coast of Florida. NASA will not broadcast the splashdown, but updates will be posted on the agency's space station blog.

Dragon will carry back to Earth over 3,600 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments designed to take advantage of the space station’s microgravity environment. Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the experiments to NASA’s Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, allowing researchers to collect data with minimal sample exposure to Earth’s gravity.

(Adapted from ‘NASA to Provide Coverage as Dragon Departs Station with Science’, nasa.gov, 2023)

What is the purpose of the Dragon spacecraft mentioned in the text?

To transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
To collect supplies and scientific experiments from the International Space Station.
To broadcast live coverage of the space station's activities.
To conduct scientific experiments in Earth's atmosphere.
These bug repellents actually work - if you use them correctly

Even the best products can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Here’s what the EPA recommends—and what experts say are completely ineffective.

Sprays, ultrasonic devices, wristbands, citronella candles: There’s a ton of products on the market that promise to keep away mosquitoes, ticks, and other bothersome bugs. But which products best protect against these biting and bloodsucking pests?

It’s important to protect yourself, as mosquitoes and ticks can transmit debilitating diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Yet not all repellents are created equal, and some don’t work at all. The repellent you might want to use depends on where you live, how long you’ll be outdoors, and which bugs you’re trying to repel. It also comes down to personal preferences, like fragrance strength.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the “bouquet” of scents on your skin, according to Conor McMeniman, an entomologist and infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University.

These are chemicals our bodies produce as they break down sugars and proteins for energy, like lactic acid and carbon dioxide, as well as those produced by bacteria on the skin. Some people smell more tantalizing to mosquitoes based on their unique cocktail of chemicals. Scientists believe that repellents disrupt mosquitoes’ and ticks’ ability to smell us.

The EPA keeps a handy list of compounds that effectively fight off disease-harboring pests, and tells you which pests each repellent keeps away. These repellents have a relatively low environmental toxicity and are safe for humans in accepted doses.

Of these, DEET was the first chemical-based repellent on the market, and some experts consider it to be the most effective against many biting insects, says Dan Markowski, technical advisor at the American Mosquito Control Association. Although repellents are sold in concentrations of up to 100 percent DEET, protection doesn’t get better after about 50 percent, says Erika Machtinger, an entomologist and chemical ecologist at Pennsylvania State University, and even low concentrations offer good protection. There is a negligible increase in how well a repellent works once its DEET concentration gets above 30 percent; the EPA recommends between 10-30 percent. The EPA also states that DEET most likely doesn’t pose a risk to the environment, at least the way we use it on ourselves.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, while DEET stays in the soil and wastewater, it degrades quickly. Several studies have shown the concentrations of DEET found in streams and rivers are too low to do damage to aquatic wildlife. The same goes for all other products on the EPA’s list, explains Machtinger: all of them have been scientifically tested for safety for humans and wildlife.

(Excerpt from ‘These bug repellents actually work - if you use them correctly’, nationalgeographic.com, 2023)

According to the text, why is it important to use bug repellents?

To keep away biting and bloodsucking pests.
To create a pleasant fragrance while outdoors.
To attract mosquitoes and ticks to the skin.
To break down sugars and proteins for energy.
What do scientists believe repellents do to mosquitoes and ticks?
Make them smell more tantalizing.
Attract them to human skin.
Disrupt their ability to smell humans.
Increase their resistance to chemicals.
Which repellent is considered the most effective against biting insects?
Citronella candles
Ultrasonic devices
What is the recommended concentration of DEET in repellents according to the EPA?
Up to 100 percent
Over 50 percent
Less than 10 percent
10-30 percent
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