READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-12, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE
The Smithsonian was established in 1846 by the U.S. Congress under the terms of a gift by British scientist James Smithson, Today, it is the largest museum complex in the world. It comprises 16 museums, a National Zoo, and several prominent research centers, most of which are located near its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The institution’s collections number more than 140 million items, from masterpieces of modern sculpture and the world’s oldest fossil to the original compass used by the “Lewis and Clark expedition” to the American West. A hallmark of the Smithsonian is its accessibility. Every museum is open to the public free of charge, generally every day of the year except December 25. The research centers offer frequent public exhibitions and educational programs, The Smithsonian’s principal museums and research centers are briefly described below.
The National Air and Space Museum presents a comprehensive survey of the evolution of aviation and space flight. Two dozen galleries trace themes and events in aviation and space history. The large and diverse collection of aircraft, spacecraft, and artifacts includes the Flyer, designed by the Wright brothers; the Spirit of St. Louis, used by Charles Lindbergh to make the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean; and the command module of Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon.
The National Museum of American History is devoted to providing an understanding of the United States and its many peoples through extensive collections, exhibitions, and public programs, Highlights of the collection include the original Star-Spangled Banner (the battle flag from the War of 1812 that inspired American lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key to compose the words of the United States’ national anthem); the compass explorer William Clark used on his expedition to the American West with Meriwether Lewis from 1804 to 1806; and the oldest operable locomotive, the John Bull, built in 1841.
The National Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s leading centers for research and learning about the natural world and humans’ place in it. Its collections, which number more than 120 million specimens, are the foundation for research, exhibitions, and education. Highlights include the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond, the largest deep blue diamond in the world; millions of fossilized plants, animals, and geologic specimens; and one of the most complete Allosaurus dinosaur skeletons displayed in a museum,
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory was founded in 1890, As the era of space exploration began, the observatory was at the forefront of space science research, gaining a prominent reputation for its worldwide satellite-tracking network. In 1973 the joint Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was created. The organization has been a pioneer in developing instruments and methods for astronomical research. Its facilities and equipment include ground-based telescopes in Arizona and Massachusetts, a highly advanced radio telescope in Cambridge, and many instruments aboard spacecraft and balloons.
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center conducts long-term ecological studies that contribute to the protection and management of natural resources. Interdisciplinary studies at the center investigate the effects of human activities on natural systems. Biology is the primary focus, but scientists also use geography, geology, hydrology, chemistry, physics, and other disciplines to find answers to environmental questions. Studies are conducted over 25 years to identify patterns and draw conclusions about causes of environmental phenomena.
At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), staff scientists and visiting researchers from around the world study the organisms, ecosystems, and peoples of the world’s tropics in the institute’s laboratories and research stations. As one of the world’s leading centers for tropical research, STAI has programs exploring animal behavior, plant ecology, forest canopy biology, paleoecology (the study of ancient or prehistoric organisms in their environment), archaeology, evolution, genetics, marine ecology, anthropology, and conservation science. Research by the institute’s staff and visiting scientists has increased understanding of how tropical plants respond to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. By studying how tropical organisms communicate, scientists know more about the tropical forest canopy’s effect on global biological diversity. Smithsonian scientists use a specially designed tower crane system to reach the forest canopy. The crane was developed by STRI and is the only system of its kind in the tropics.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 13-25 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
MYSTERY OF THE MEGALITHS
A. Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a triangular-shaped island belonging to Chile. It is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 3700 km west of the Chilean coast. The island is formed by three extinct volcanoes. Swept by strong trade winds, the area is warm throughout the year. Indigenous vegetation consists mainly of grasses. Potatoes, sugarcane, taro roots, tobacco, and tropical fruits are grown in the fertile soil. The prime source of fresh water is the rain that gathers in the crater lakes.
B. The Island was named by a Dutch explorer who landed there on Easter Day in 1722. At the time, several thousand Polynesians inhabited the island. However, disease and raids by slave traders reduced the number to fewer than 200 by the late 19th century. The Chilean government annexed the island in 1888. An area on the western coast is reserved by the government for the indigenous population; the remainder is used as grazing land for sheep and cattle. Some intermarriage has taken place between the Polynesians and the Chileans.
C. Easter Island is of considerable archaeological importance. It is the richest site of the megaliths (giant stone monuments) of the Pacific island groups and the only source of evidence of a form of writing in Polynesia. Very little is known about the people who made the megaliths and carved the wooden tablets. One belief is that settlement of Easter Island took place about 18 centuries ago, al- though some scholars contend that the settlement occurred more recently. Archaeological and botanical evidence suggests that the island’s original inhabitants were of South American origin. The ancestors of the present Polynesian population are thought to have travelled in canoes from the Marquesas Islands, massacred the inhabitants, and made the island their home. Many archaeologists believe that at the time of the invasion, the megaliths, including about 600 statues, were standing throughout the island and that many were destroyed by the Polynesians during a period of violence on Easter Island.
D. Largest of the existing stone monuments are the great burial platforms, called ahus, which were used to support rows of statues. The ahus were situated on bluffs and in other positions commanding a view of the sea, each ahu was constructed of neatly fitted stone blocks set without mortar. The burial platform usually supported 4 to 6 statues, although one ahu, known as Tongariki, carried 15 statues. Within many of the ahus, vaults house individual or group burials,
E. About 100 statues still stand on the island; they vary in height from 3 to 12 m (10 to 40 ft). Carved from tuff, a soft volcanic rock, they consist of huge heads with elongated ears and noses. Material for the statues was quarried from the crater called Rano Raraku, where modern explorers found an immense unfinished statue, 21 m (68 ft) long. Many of the statues on the burial platforms bore cylindrical, brimmed crowns of red tuff; the largest crown weighs approximately 27 metric tons.
F. Excavations have also disclosed hidden caves containing decayed remains of tablets and wooden images, and numerous small wooden sculptures. The tablets are covered with finely carved and stylized figures, which seem to be a form of picture writing.
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 26-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
OUCH! YOU’VE GOT SOME NERVE!
Serious pain starts with the stimulation of one or more of the body’s many special sensors, called nociceptors, in the skin or internal organs. These special sensors receive information about intense heat, extreme pressure, sharp pricks or cuts, or other events that can cause body damage. Two types of nerve fibers carry this information from the nociceptors to the spinal cord: A-delta fibers, which transmit information quickly and appear to be responsible for sudden and sharp feelings of pain; and C-type fibers, which transmit pain impulses more slowly and may be the cause of a nagging sense of pain.
At the spinal cord, messages from nociceptors may be modified by other spinal nerves that enhance or, more frequently, diminish the intensity of the pain. The pain impulse then travels to several parts of the brain. Some brain areas determine where the pain is and what is causing it, while other areas combine the sensory information with the total state of the body and produce the emotional sensation called pain. These same brain centers can activate long nerve fibers that descend to the place in the spinal cord where the pain signal originates and decrease the signal.
In the mid-1970s, researchers showed that many nerve fibers that hold back pain messages in the spinal cord release a neurotransmitter called enkephalin. Some areas of the brain that process pain messages produce a related chemical called endorphin. Although the exact roles of these two substances in pain perception is not yet clear, scientists hope that studies of these chemicals may eventually give rise to better types of pain treatment.
The complex nature of pain is illustrated by the stories of soldiers who are severely wounded and do not complain of pain, or of athletes who are injured but do not experience pain until the contest is over. In some cultures, an operation can be performed on the skull without an anesthetic (anti-pain drug). On the other hand, scientists have recently shown that the expectation of pain can actually intensify the experience, perhaps by inducing anxiety. The emotional component of pain is also illustrated by the words frequently used to describe its nature, such as “vicious”, “nauseating”, and “nagging”.
Acute or severe pain—such as that produced by physical injury, burns or surgery is most often treated with antipain drugs, which can range from simple ones, like aspirin, to more powerful drugs, like morphine. In the terminal stages of cancer, combinations of powerful painkilling drugs may be used, including mood-altering drugs, like tranquilizers or anti-depressants. In some patients who have had surgery, pain is effectively relieved by a nerve block: the injection of an anesthetic into the regional nerve center through which the nerves from the surgery site pass. With certain types of back pain, surgery can correct the problem causing the pain.
Beginning about 1965, physicians came to appreciate the uniqueness of the condition called. “chronic pain.” In this syndrome (bodily condition), patients may complain of pain for years, without having any apparent or detectable injury or cause. Researchers suggest that chronic pain is a behavior state, initiated by a real injury, in which the pain has lasted so long that it has itself become the disease. Of the many millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, one-third have back pain and another third arthritis (swelling between the bone joints), Many of these patients are dependent on strong painkilling medicines, and they usually have fallen into a Cycle of pain, depression, and inactivity.
A number of special clinics have been formed to treat people who suffer from chronic pain. Such clinics emphasize reduction of drug dosages, along with exercise, activity therapy, and mental relaxation techniques such as hypnosis and biofeedback. Some include psychological counseling, and many attempt to change learned pain behaviors by enlisting the patient’s family. In other cases, patients are helped by an electronic nerve-stimulating device, called T.E.N.S., that can be used to send electricity into the nerves and up the spinal cord. Exactly how and why this device works is not known, but it may stimulate the brain to send pain-inhibiting impulses down the spine.
3. Not Given
17. Not Given
31. Not Given
33. Not Given
35-37. C, E, G