"Salty" Rice Plant Boosts Harvests
British scientists are breeding a new generation of rice plants that will be able to grow in soil containing salt water. Their work may enable abandoned farms to become productive once more.
Tim Flowers and Tony Yeo, from Sussex University's School of Biological Sciences, have spent several years researching on crops, such as rice, which could be made to grow in water that has become salty.
The pair has recently begun a three-year programe, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, to establish which genes enable some plants to survive salty conditions. The aim is to breed this capability into crops, starting with rice.
It is estimated that each year more than 10m hectares (公顷) of agricultural land are lost because salt gets into the soil and stunts (妨碍生长) plants. The problem is caused by several factors. In the tropics, mangroves (红树林) that create swamps (沼泽) and traditionally formed barriers to sea water have been cut down. In the Mediterranean, a series of droughts have caused the water table to drop, allowing sea water to seep (渗透) in. In Latin America, irrigation often causes problems when water is evaporated (蒸发) by the heat, leaving salt deposits behind.
Excess salt then enters the plants and prevents them functioning normally. Heavy concentrations of minerals in the plants stop them drawing up the water they need to survive.
To overcome these problems, Flowers and Yeo decided to breed rice plants that take in very little salt and store what they do absorb in cells that do not affect the plants' growth. They have started to breed these characteristics into a new rice crop, but it will take about eight harvests before the resulting seeds are ready to be considered for commercial use.
Once the characteristics for surviving salty soil are known, Flowers and Yeo will try to breed the appropriate genes into all manners of crops and plants. Land that has been abandoned to nature will then be able to bloom again, providing much needed food in the poorer countries of the world.
31 Which of the following statements about Flowers and Yeo is true?
A They are students at Sussex University.
B They are rice breeders.
C They are husband and wife.
D They are colleagues at an institution of higher learning.
32 Flowers and Yeo have started a program
A to find ways to prevent water pollution.
B to identify genes that promote growth in salty soil
C to breed rice plants that taste salty.
D to find ways to remove excessive salt from soil.
33 Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a cause of the problem discussed in the passage?
A Natural barriers to sea water have been destroyed
B The water table has gone down after droughts.
C Sea level has been continuously rising.
D Evaporation of water leaves salt behind.
34 The word "affect" in Paragraph 6 could be best replaced by
35 The attitude of the author towards the research project is
Ford's Assembly Line
When it comes to singling out those who have made a difference in all our lives, you cannot overlook Henry Ford. A historian a century from now might well conclude that it was Ford who most influenced all manufacturing, everywhere, even to this day, by introducing a new way to make cars---one, strange to say, that originated in slaughterhouses (屠宰场).
Back in the early 1900's, slaughterhouses used what could have been called a "disassembly line". Ford reversed this process to see if it would speed up production of a part of an automobile engine called a magneto. Rather than have each worker completely assemble a magneto, one of its elements was placed on a conveyer, and each worker, as it passed, added another component to it, the same one each time. Professor David Hounshell of the University of Delaware, an expert on industrial development, tells what happened:
"The previous day, workers carrying out the entire process had averaged one assembly every 20 minutes. But on that day, on the line, the assembly team averaged one every 13 minutes and 10 seconds per person."
Within a year, the time had been reduced to five minutes. In 1913, Ford went all the way. Hooked together by ropes, partially assembled vehicles were towed (拖，拉) past workers who completed them one piece at a time. It wasn't long before Ford was turning out several hundred thousand cars a year, a remarkable achievement then. And so efficient and economical was this new system that he cut the price of his cars in half, to $260, putting them within reach of all those who, up until that time, could not afford them. Soon, auto makers the world over copied him. In fact, he encouraged them to do so by writing a book about all of his innovations, entitle today and tomorrow. The Age of the Automobile has arrived. Today, aided by robots and other forms of automation (自动化), everything from toasters to perfumes is made on assembly lines.
36 Which of the following statements about Henry Ford is NOT true?
A He introduced a new way of production.
B He influenced all manufacturing.
C He inspired other auto makers.
D He changed the minds of historians.
37 The writer mentions "slaughterhouses" because they were the places where
A Ford's assembly line originated.
B Ford made his first car.
C Ford readjusted the assembly line.
D Ford innovated the disassembly line.
38 A magneto is a technical term for
A an automobile.
B a production line.
C a part of an automobile engine
D a disassembly line.
39 The phrase "turning out" in the last paragraph could be best replaced by
40 The invention of the assembly line enabled Henry Ford
A to create more jobs for the unemployed.
B to write a book on history.
C to reduce the price of his cars to $260.
D to cut the production of his cars by 50%.
Play is the principal business of childhood, and in recent years research has shown the great importance of play in the development of a human being. From earliest infancy, every child needs opportunity and the right materials for play, and the main tools of play are toys. Their main function is to suggest, encourage and assist play. To succeed in this they must be good toys, which children will play with often, and will come back to again and again. Therefore it is important to choose suitable toys for different stages of a child's development.
In recent years research on infant development has shown that the standard a child is likely to reach, within the range of his inherited abilities, is largely determined in the first three years of his life. So a baby's ability to profit from the right play materials should not be underestimated. A baby, who is encouraged and stimulated, talked to and shown things and played with, has the best chance of growing up successfully.
In the next stage, from three to five years old, curiosity knows no bounds. Every type of suitable toy should be made available to the child, for trying out, experimenting and learning, for discovering his own particular ability. Bricks and jigsaws (七巧板)and construction toys; painting, scribbling (涂鸦) and making things; Sand and water play; toys for imaginative and pretending play; the first social games for learning to play and get on with others.
By the third stage of play development -- from five to seven or eight years the child is at school. But for a few more years play is still the best way of learning, at home or at school. It is easier to see which type of toys the child most enjoys.
Until the age of seven or eight, play and work mean much the same to a child. But once reading has been mastered, then books and schools become the main source of learning. Toys are still interesting and valuable, they lead on to new hobbies, but their significance has changed them to a child of nine or ten years, toys and games mean, as to adults, relaxation and fun.
41 The passage tells us that as a child grows up
A he should be allowed to choose his own toys
B he should be given identical toys.
C he should be given different toys.
D he should be given fewer and fewer toys.
42 According to the passage, the abilities a child has inherited from his parents
A determine his character.
B will not change after the age of three.
C partly determine the standard he is likely to reach.
D to a large extent determine the choice of toys.
43 Who have the best chance of growing up successfully?
A Those who tend to overeat.
B Those who are given a lot of toys.
C Those who are given toys, talked to and played with
D Those who can share their toys with their playmates
44 We learn from the passage that a child has boundless curiosity
A when he is two.
B when he is around four.
C when he is six.
D when he is eight.
45 The passage is mainly about
A the importance of pre-school education.
B the importance of schooling.
C the role of play in a child's development
D the choice of toys for adolescents.
31. D 32. B 33. C 34. A 35. A
36. D 37. A 38. C 39. A 40. C
41. C 42. C 43. C 44. B 45. C