This test has two separate sections, A and B. In this test, we are focusing on Section A and in particular looking at questions on the theme of Science

Section A : Multiple Choice

This section is divided into 12 subsections; each subsection has between 3 and 4 questions.

You should answer all 42 multiple choice questions in section A, selecting one of the possible answers listed for each question.

Once you have completed all 42 questions, you will be presented with an Item Review Screen giving you the opportunity to review your responses. Once you are happy with your responses you should select ‘End Review’ and move to the next review screen.

Time allowed: 95 minutes

 

Solution Feedback Review

This screen shows all questions and your response as correct or incorrect. You may not change your response.

You may view solutions to each question by selecting the ‘Explain Answer’ button in the top left corner of the question.

EU adopts ‘adequacy’ decisions allowing data to continue flowing freely to the UK

The European Union (EU) has formally recognised the UK’s high data protection standards after more than a year of constructive talks

This will allow the continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK

Personal data can continue to flow freely between Europe and the UK following agreement by the European Union to adopt ‘data adequacy’ decisions.

The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.

The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.

All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.

1. Which of the following was not a listed benefit of free flow of personal data?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    All of the other options can be found in the text as benefits to the free flow of personal data. ‘Organisational burdens’ on the other hand is a negative not a benefit.

    TOP TIP! Recognizing an answer from the text can give you a hint as to the answer, but you must pay attention and check that the answer you go for exactly fits the description required by the question

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    EU adopts ‘adequacy’ decisions allowing data to continue flowing freely to the UK

    The European Union (EU) has formally recognised the UK’s high data protection standards after more than a year of constructive talks

    This will allow the continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK

    Personal data can continue to flow freely between Europe and the UK following agreement by the European Union to adopt ‘data adequacy’ decisions.

    The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

    This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.

    The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.

    All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.

    2. Which of the following can be inferred from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    We can infer from the sentence ‘continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK’ that the UK, before Brexit, could freely transfer data to the EU and therefore the new adequacy decision puts the EU back in the same situation as before Brexit with respect to data flow

    a. This is the correct answer

    b. There is insufficient evidence to support this claim

    c. There is insufficient evidence to support this claim

    d. There is insufficient evidence to support this claim

    e. This is too extreme and therefore unsupported by textual evidence

    QUESTION TIP! An inference is something which is not stated but can be worked out from evidence in the text

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    EU adopts ‘adequacy’ decisions allowing data to continue flowing freely to the UK

    The European Union (EU) has formally recognised the UK’s high data protection standards after more than a year of constructive talks

    This will allow the continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK

    Personal data can continue to flow freely between Europe and the UK following agreement by the European Union to adopt ‘data adequacy’ decisions.

    The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

    This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.

    The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.

    All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.

    3. Which of the following best defines ‘adequacy decision’
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    This question requires an overall grasp of the term which you can gain from reading the whole text carefully.

    a. This is the opposite meaning

    b. This is true but it is not the meaning of the term

    c. This is correct but is loose and imprecise, hence e is a better definition

    d. This is also correct but does not explain the term

    e. This is the correct answer

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    EU adopts ‘adequacy’ decisions allowing data to continue flowing freely to the UK

    The European Union (EU) has formally recognised the UK’s high data protection standards after more than a year of constructive talks

    This will allow the continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK

    Personal data can continue to flow freely between Europe and the UK following agreement by the European Union to adopt ‘data adequacy’ decisions.

    The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

    This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.

    The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.

    All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.

    4. Which of the following best describes the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The text’s main purpose is to inform about the recent decision, but it is also supportive because of the many benefits listed

    a. The text is more factual than emotive

    b. Correct

    c. There is no bitterness in the text

    d. This is almost correct but the text is more supportive than critical

    e. The text is more supportive than critical

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    EU adopts ‘adequacy’ decisions allowing data to continue flowing freely to the UK

    The European Union (EU) has formally recognised the UK’s high data protection standards after more than a year of constructive talks

    This will allow the continued seamless flow of personal data from the EU to the UK

    Personal data can continue to flow freely between Europe and the UK following agreement by the European Union to adopt ‘data adequacy’ decisions.

    The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

    This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.

    The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.

    All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.

    5. What does GDPR stand for?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    This is an easier question and should be very quick to answer. However, it is easy to make a silly mistake so you should carefully double check each word to ensure that you pick the right one in the text, which is ‘EU General Data Protection Regulation’.

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    Psychology is a powerful tool, but Britain’s Covid response has given it a bad name

    Stephen Reicher

    For many years, psychology has largely been relegated to the “and finally …” section of the news, down there with dogs on surfboards and siblings reuniting after a lifetime apart. I recall, for instance, during the Scottish independence referendum, being asked to comment on how political differences within families might lead to marital discord. Significant to those involved, no doubt, but hardly central to the story. Although issues that were central to the story – national identity, trust in government, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty – did involve a core psychological dimension, psychologists and behavioural scientists more generally were never invited to comment on these.

    The problem is that, although our society and popular culture are endlessly obsessed with the psychological, this is generally limited to how we act alone or in personal relationships. It rarely extends to how we act together, how we combine collectively and hence how we constitute a force that can alter the whole of society. So, when it comes to public policy, the discipline is irrelevant. Fine for the Big Brother House, less so for No. 10.

    This has changed over the last year. At the beginning of the pandemic, it became quickly obvious that if we wished to control the virus, people would need to change their behaviours. As the UK government slowly lifts formal restrictions on what people can do, it becomes ever more important that people are able to identify what risks remain, and to act on them.

    But before we can dream of a glorious new dawn for psychology and the behavioural sciences, a couple of key objections need to be dealt with. The first is that, though behaviour may well be important, the sciences and scientists who purport to study it have got things so disastrously wrong that they have proved more of a liability than an asset. The most obvious example of this is the sad history of “behavioural fatigue”: the notion repeated, at the start of the pandemic, that people would not be psychologically equipped to deal with restrictions on their behaviours and would only adhere for just so long. This argument was used to delay lockdown last spring. It was used to relax restrictions at Christmas (as the Sun put it, otherwise there would be a “mutiny of mums”). It has been used in recent weeks to advocate loosening restrictions as a third wave takes hold. It has probably cost many thousands of lives.

    Not far behind in terms of destructiveness were more specific assumptions about exactly what restrictions a British public would or wouldn’t wear. For instance, it was argued that, unlike east Asian populations, British people would never accept a rigorous testing regime with the need to self-isolate if infected. This led to more fatal delays in the introduction of measures that are of critical importance – most notably in building an effective test and trace system.

    These were indeed catastrophic errors based on catastrophic misunderstandings of behaviour. But, critically, they didn’t come from psychologists and indeed were opposed by most psychologists and other behavioural scientists. I well recall the horror in a meeting when we first heard about “behavioural fatigue” being used to oppose early action – we felt it was wrong, it was dangerous and it would end up being used to try to discredit our disciplines. How right we were.

    As for the orientalist fantasy that independent westerners won’t abide that which is accepted by passive Asians: this represents precisely what the study of prejudice has been critiquing since the second world war. The errors derived from the fact that decisions were made on the basis of “folk psychology”: assumptions about human behaviour by non-psychologists. The harm caused by these errors is not an argument against psychology. To the contrary. It is an argument for having trained psychologists present when the key decisions are made.

    6. What is the author’s main point?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The author shows how people fail to understand the role of psychologists suggesting we need to learn from this time about the role of psychologists and how the opinion of psychologists should influence policy development

    a. This is true but it is only part of the author’s conclusion

    b. This is too extreme

    c. The author directly contradicts this statement

    d. This is true but it is not the mian theme of the passage

    e. This is correct

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    Psychology is a powerful tool, but Britain’s Covid response has given it a bad name

    Stephen Reicher

    For many years, psychology has largely been relegated to the “and finally …” section of the news, down there with dogs on surfboards and siblings reuniting after a lifetime apart. I recall, for instance, during the Scottish independence referendum, being asked to comment on how political differences within families might lead to marital discord. Significant to those involved, no doubt, but hardly central to the story. Although issues that were central to the story – national identity, trust in government, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty – did involve a core psychological dimension, psychologists and behavioural scientists more generally were never invited to comment on these.

    The problem is that, although our society and popular culture are endlessly obsessed with the psychological, this is generally limited to how we act alone or in personal relationships. It rarely extends to how we act together, how we combine collectively and hence how we constitute a force that can alter the whole of society. So, when it comes to public policy, the discipline is irrelevant. Fine for the Big Brother House, less so for No. 10.

    This has changed over the last year. At the beginning of the pandemic, it became quickly obvious that if we wished to control the virus, people would need to change their behaviours. As the UK government slowly lifts formal restrictions on what people can do, it becomes ever more important that people are able to identify what risks remain, and to act on them.

    But before we can dream of a glorious new dawn for psychology and the behavioural sciences, a couple of key objections need to be dealt with. The first is that, though behaviour may well be important, the sciences and scientists who purport to study it have got things so disastrously wrong that they have proved more of a liability than an asset. The most obvious example of this is the sad history of “behavioural fatigue”: the notion repeated, at the start of the pandemic, that people would not be psychologically equipped to deal with restrictions on their behaviours and would only adhere for just so long. This argument was used to delay lockdown last spring. It was used to relax restrictions at Christmas (as the Sun put it, otherwise there would be a “mutiny of mums”). It has been used in recent weeks to advocate loosening restrictions as a third wave takes hold. It has probably cost many thousands of lives.

    Not far behind in terms of destructiveness were more specific assumptions about exactly what restrictions a British public would or wouldn’t wear. For instance, it was argued that, unlike east Asian populations, British people would never accept a rigorous testing regime with the need to self-isolate if infected. This led to more fatal delays in the introduction of measures that are of critical importance – most notably in building an effective test and trace system.

    These were indeed catastrophic errors based on catastrophic misunderstandings of behaviour. But, critically, they didn’t come from psychologists and indeed were opposed by most psychologists and other behavioural scientists. I well recall the horror in a meeting when we first heard about “behavioural fatigue” being used to oppose early action – we felt it was wrong, it was dangerous and it would end up being used to try to discredit our disciplines. How right we were.

    As for the orientalist fantasy that independent westerners won’t abide that which is accepted by passive Asians: this represents precisely what the study of prejudice has been critiquing since the second world war. The errors derived from the fact that decisions were made on the basis of “folk psychology”: assumptions about human behaviour by non-psychologists. The harm caused by these errors is not an argument against psychology. To the contrary. It is an argument for having trained psychologists present when the key decisions are made.

    7. What does the author think ‘behavioural fatigue’ means
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    If you look at the text closely you will find that the author explains the term as ‘that people would not be psychologically equipped to deal with restrictions on their behaviours and would only adhere for just so long’, D is closest to this explanation.

    a. If you picked this option you probably did not go back to the text and just guessed based on the words in the term itself

    b. If you picked this option you probably did not go back to the text and just guessed based on the words in the term itself

    c. This includes ideas we find in the text but is actually opposite to the author’s point

    d. This is correct

    e. There is no evidence to support this claim

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    Psychology is a powerful tool, but Britain’s Covid response has given it a bad name

    Stephen Reicher

    For many years, psychology has largely been relegated to the “and finally …” section of the news, down there with dogs on surfboards and siblings reuniting after a lifetime apart. I recall, for instance, during the Scottish independence referendum, being asked to comment on how political differences within families might lead to marital discord. Significant to those involved, no doubt, but hardly central to the story. Although issues that were central to the story – national identity, trust in government, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty – did involve a core psychological dimension, psychologists and behavioural scientists more generally were never invited to comment on these.

    The problem is that, although our society and popular culture are endlessly obsessed with the psychological, this is generally limited to how we act alone or in personal relationships. It rarely extends to how we act together, how we combine collectively and hence how we constitute a force that can alter the whole of society. So, when it comes to public policy, the discipline is irrelevant. Fine for the Big Brother House, less so for No. 10.

    This has changed over the last year. At the beginning of the pandemic, it became quickly obvious that if we wished to control the virus, people would need to change their behaviours. As the UK government slowly lifts formal restrictions on what people can do, it becomes ever more important that people are able to identify what risks remain, and to act on them.

    But before we can dream of a glorious new dawn for psychology and the behavioural sciences, a couple of key objections need to be dealt with. The first is that, though behaviour may well be important, the sciences and scientists who purport to study it have got things so disastrously wrong that they have proved more of a liability than an asset. The most obvious example of this is the sad history of “behavioural fatigue”: the notion repeated, at the start of the pandemic, that people would not be psychologically equipped to deal with restrictions on their behaviours and would only adhere for just so long. This argument was used to delay lockdown last spring. It was used to relax restrictions at Christmas (as the Sun put it, otherwise there would be a “mutiny of mums”). It has been used in recent weeks to advocate loosening restrictions as a third wave takes hold. It has probably cost many thousands of lives.

    Not far behind in terms of destructiveness were more specific assumptions about exactly what restrictions a British public would or wouldn’t wear. For instance, it was argued that, unlike east Asian populations, British people would never accept a rigorous testing regime with the need to self-isolate if infected. This led to more fatal delays in the introduction of measures that are of critical importance – most notably in building an effective test and trace system.

    These were indeed catastrophic errors based on catastrophic misunderstandings of behaviour. But, critically, they didn’t come from psychologists and indeed were opposed by most psychologists and other behavioural scientists. I well recall the horror in a meeting when we first heard about “behavioural fatigue” being used to oppose early action – we felt it was wrong, it was dangerous and it would end up being used to try to discredit our disciplines. How right we were.

    As for the orientalist fantasy that independent westerners won’t abide that which is accepted by passive Asians: this represents precisely what the study of prejudice has been critiquing since the second world war. The errors derived from the fact that decisions were made on the basis of “folk psychology”: assumptions about human behaviour by non-psychologists. The harm caused by these errors is not an argument against psychology. To the contrary. It is an argument for having trained psychologists present when the key decisions are made.

    8. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author uses a persuasive tone to influence the reader to understand the importance of psychologists against the bad name they have been given through the pandemic

    a. The author supports psychologists in order to persuade and so supportive is not the main tone

    b. This is the correct answer

    c. The author is somewhat critical, but it appears this criticism underlies an attempt to persuade the reader

    d. The author uses information to persuade the reader

    e. The author may be irritated but this is not the main tone of the text

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    Opinion: How We Found a New Way to Detect “Hidden Sharks” Stefano Mariani 

    Given the speed and efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling, a much larger portion of the sea can be screened, in a shorter time, for patterns of diversity.

    Imagine studying animals without seeing them. Does that sound ludicrous? To people like us, who first got interested in biology because we love animals and enjoy studying them, yes, it sounds like a poor deal. Yet, if you think about what forensic investigators do when they seek DNA evidence at a crime scene, or what doctors do when they detect a pathogen in a patient’s blood, it is exactly that: they detect life forms without seeing them.

    DNA is life’s blue print. It is present in virtually every organism on Earth, and we usually study it by extracting it from a piece of tissue or a blood sample. But DNA, really, is everywhere: animals shed it constantly, when they scratch themselves, when they release urine, eggs, saliva, excrement and, of course, when they die. Every environment, from your bed to the deepest recesses of the oceans, is full of “biological dust,” mostly cellular material, which contains the DNA of the organisms that left it behind. This, we call “environmental DNA,” or eDNA.

    Assisted by increasingly fast, accurate, and affordable technology, scientists have begun, in recent years, to sequence this trace DNA from many environments. And this “micro” approach has even proved to be useful to scientists investigating environments as vast as the oceans.

    Many marine animals are large, rare, elusive, and highly mobile. Sharks are an obvious example: in the oceans they make up a small proportion of the biomass, most of them are pretty difficult to catch, and they have been in conflict with humans since we started venturing at sea. With a few exceptions, they avoid us, and because of us many have become threatened with extinction.

    This is why we thought it would be interesting to see if, just by sampling a few bottles of ocean water (and the DNA fragments therein), we could rapidly map shark presence and distribution, without engaging in wild chases or employing time and resource-intensive shark fishing methods. We were happy to find out that, indeed, this was possible, and that different species could be detected in different geographical regions, although the areas that had been more affected by humans would show scant presence of sharks.

    But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies, such as scuba-diving visual censuses or baited underwater camera recordings.

    9. Which of the following is not listed as a benefit to the eDNA approach?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author says ‘But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies’, this means the text does not tell us if eDNA outperforms other approaches. All the other options can be found in the text.

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    Opinion: How We Found a New Way to Detect “Hidden Sharks” Stefano Mariani 

    Given the speed and efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling, a much larger portion of the sea can be screened, in a shorter time, for patterns of diversity.

    Imagine studying animals without seeing them. Does that sound ludicrous? To people like us, who first got interested in biology because we love animals and enjoy studying them, yes, it sounds like a poor deal. Yet, if you think about what forensic investigators do when they seek DNA evidence at a crime scene, or what doctors do when they detect a pathogen in a patient’s blood, it is exactly that: they detect life forms without seeing them.

    DNA is life’s blue print. It is present in virtually every organism on Earth, and we usually study it by extracting it from a piece of tissue or a blood sample. But DNA, really, is everywhere: animals shed it constantly, when they scratch themselves, when they release urine, eggs, saliva, excrement and, of course, when they die. Every environment, from your bed to the deepest recesses of the oceans, is full of “biological dust,” mostly cellular material, which contains the DNA of the organisms that left it behind. This, we call “environmental DNA,” or eDNA.

    Assisted by increasingly fast, accurate, and affordable technology, scientists have begun, in recent years, to sequence this trace DNA from many environments. And this “micro” approach has even proved to be useful to scientists investigating environments as vast as the oceans.

    Many marine animals are large, rare, elusive, and highly mobile. Sharks are an obvious example: in the oceans they make up a small proportion of the biomass, most of them are pretty difficult to catch, and they have been in conflict with humans since we started venturing at sea. With a few exceptions, they avoid us, and because of us many have become threatened with extinction.

    This is why we thought it would be interesting to see if, just by sampling a few bottles of ocean water (and the DNA fragments therein), we could rapidly map shark presence and distribution, without engaging in wild chases or employing time and resource-intensive shark fishing methods. We were happy to find out that, indeed, this was possible, and that different species could be detected in different geographical regions, although the areas that had been more affected by humans would show scant presence of sharks.

    But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies, such as scuba-diving visual censuses or baited underwater camera recordings.

    10. What is the tone of the passage
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The passage is informative, it aims to enlighten the reader about an unusual and new approach which may have many benefits. Note that the author does not try to persuade the reader that eDNA is the best option, rather they just explain the process and its potential.

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    Opinion: How We Found a New Way to Detect “Hidden Sharks” Stefano Mariani 

    Given the speed and efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling, a much larger portion of the sea can be screened, in a shorter time, for patterns of diversity.

    Imagine studying animals without seeing them. Does that sound ludicrous? To people like us, who first got interested in biology because we love animals and enjoy studying them, yes, it sounds like a poor deal. Yet, if you think about what forensic investigators do when they seek DNA evidence at a crime scene, or what doctors do when they detect a pathogen in a patient’s blood, it is exactly that: they detect life forms without seeing them.

    DNA is life’s blue print. It is present in virtually every organism on Earth, and we usually study it by extracting it from a piece of tissue or a blood sample. But DNA, really, is everywhere: animals shed it constantly, when they scratch themselves, when they release urine, eggs, saliva, excrement and, of course, when they die. Every environment, from your bed to the deepest recesses of the oceans, is full of “biological dust,” mostly cellular material, which contains the DNA of the organisms that left it behind. This, we call “environmental DNA,” or eDNA.

    Assisted by increasingly fast, accurate, and affordable technology, scientists have begun, in recent years, to sequence this trace DNA from many environments. And this “micro” approach has even proved to be useful to scientists investigating environments as vast as the oceans.

    Many marine animals are large, rare, elusive, and highly mobile. Sharks are an obvious example: in the oceans they make up a small proportion of the biomass, most of them are pretty difficult to catch, and they have been in conflict with humans since we started venturing at sea. With a few exceptions, they avoid us, and because of us many have become threatened with extinction.

    This is why we thought it would be interesting to see if, just by sampling a few bottles of ocean water (and the DNA fragments therein), we could rapidly map shark presence and distribution, without engaging in wild chases or employing time and resource-intensive shark fishing methods. We were happy to find out that, indeed, this was possible, and that different species could be detected in different geographical regions, although the areas that had been more affected by humans would show scant presence of sharks.

    But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies, such as scuba-diving visual censuses or baited underwater camera recordings.

    11. The author uses sharks to
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Sharks are listed as an ‘example’ of where eDNA might be particularly effectively used

    a. The text is informative and so sharks do not really evidence his argument, because the author is not arguing rather informing

    b. Correct

    c. The shark example does more than add interest

    d. The purpose is not to show off

    e. The shark is an example not a counter

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    Opinion: How We Found a New Way to Detect “Hidden Sharks” Stefano Mariani 

    Given the speed and efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling, a much larger portion of the sea can be screened, in a shorter time, for patterns of diversity.

    Imagine studying animals without seeing them. Does that sound ludicrous? To people like us, who first got interested in biology because we love animals and enjoy studying them, yes, it sounds like a poor deal. Yet, if you think about what forensic investigators do when they seek DNA evidence at a crime scene, or what doctors do when they detect a pathogen in a patient’s blood, it is exactly that: they detect life forms without seeing them.

    DNA is life’s blue print. It is present in virtually every organism on Earth, and we usually study it by extracting it from a piece of tissue or a blood sample. But DNA, really, is everywhere: animals shed it constantly, when they scratch themselves, when they release urine, eggs, saliva, excrement and, of course, when they die. Every environment, from your bed to the deepest recesses of the oceans, is full of “biological dust,” mostly cellular material, which contains the DNA of the organisms that left it behind. This, we call “environmental DNA,” or eDNA.

    Assisted by increasingly fast, accurate, and affordable technology, scientists have begun, in recent years, to sequence this trace DNA from many environments. And this “micro” approach has even proved to be useful to scientists investigating environments as vast as the oceans.

    Many marine animals are large, rare, elusive, and highly mobile. Sharks are an obvious example: in the oceans they make up a small proportion of the biomass, most of them are pretty difficult to catch, and they have been in conflict with humans since we started venturing at sea. With a few exceptions, they avoid us, and because of us many have become threatened with extinction.

    This is why we thought it would be interesting to see if, just by sampling a few bottles of ocean water (and the DNA fragments therein), we could rapidly map shark presence and distribution, without engaging in wild chases or employing time and resource-intensive shark fishing methods. We were happy to find out that, indeed, this was possible, and that different species could be detected in different geographical regions, although the areas that had been more affected by humans would show scant presence of sharks.

    But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies, such as scuba-diving visual censuses or baited underwater camera recordings.

    12. The author suggests that studying animals without seeing them is
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author suggests that the idea is unconventional by saying that it was surprising to biologists

    a. The author goes on to explain its benefits so it is not a bad idea

    b. Correct

    c. The author suggests this is relatively new technology

    d. This expresses the same idea as C

    e. This expresses the same idea as C

    QUESTION TIP! If you are guessing, and you notice that a few of the answer options convey the exact same thing then don’t pick those ones since they cannot all be right! However, LNAT questions often include fine distinctions so bear this in mind, usually answers will be slightly different.

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    Opinion: How We Found a New Way to Detect “Hidden Sharks” Stefano Mariani 

    Given the speed and efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling, a much larger portion of the sea can be screened, in a shorter time, for patterns of diversity.

    Imagine studying animals without seeing them. Does that sound ludicrous? To people like us, who first got interested in biology because we love animals and enjoy studying them, yes, it sounds like a poor deal. Yet, if you think about what forensic investigators do when they seek DNA evidence at a crime scene, or what doctors do when they detect a pathogen in a patient’s blood, it is exactly that: they detect life forms without seeing them.

    DNA is life’s blue print. It is present in virtually every organism on Earth, and we usually study it by extracting it from a piece of tissue or a blood sample. But DNA, really, is everywhere: animals shed it constantly, when they scratch themselves, when they release urine, eggs, saliva, excrement and, of course, when they die. Every environment, from your bed to the deepest recesses of the oceans, is full of “biological dust,” mostly cellular material, which contains the DNA of the organisms that left it behind. This, we call “environmental DNA,” or eDNA.

    Assisted by increasingly fast, accurate, and affordable technology, scientists have begun, in recent years, to sequence this trace DNA from many environments. And this “micro” approach has even proved to be useful to scientists investigating environments as vast as the oceans.

    Many marine animals are large, rare, elusive, and highly mobile. Sharks are an obvious example: in the oceans they make up a small proportion of the biomass, most of them are pretty difficult to catch, and they have been in conflict with humans since we started venturing at sea. With a few exceptions, they avoid us, and because of us many have become threatened with extinction.

    This is why we thought it would be interesting to see if, just by sampling a few bottles of ocean water (and the DNA fragments therein), we could rapidly map shark presence and distribution, without engaging in wild chases or employing time and resource-intensive shark fishing methods. We were happy to find out that, indeed, this was possible, and that different species could be detected in different geographical regions, although the areas that had been more affected by humans would show scant presence of sharks.

    But the true measure of the efficiency of this eDNA approach to shark monitoring would only be revealed when contrasted against established, tried-and-tested methodologies, such as scuba-diving visual censuses or baited underwater camera recordings.

    13. What does eDNA stand for?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This is a trick question. The text says efficiency of environmental (eDNA) sampling but this does not mean that eDNA means efficiency of environmental sampling, rather that eDNA means environmental DNA.

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    What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

    There is a pernicious temptation in science to speak authoritatively about topics that are beyond scientific exploration and certainty. This has led some theoretical physicists to advocate for a “post-empirical” form of science. That is the idea that theories need not be judged on their ability to make new and testable predictions about the observable universe, in some cases, the absence of a plausible alternative is sufficient. One might be forgiven if one sees an analogous situation in biology, specifically when it comes to the origin(s) of life on Earth or elsewhere, and the steps behind major, essentially historical evolutionary events. For example, there are almost daily reports (and rather excited press releases) of how some scientific observations argue for the plausibility of life on other planets, in other solar systems, or in other galaxies, when in fact, what has been found is one or another organic molecule, or hints of organic material, in meteorites and comets. Rarely is the fact that we have yet to find life anywhere but here on Earth mentioned explicitly.

    In a world in which magical thinking persists in popular culture, as witness the number of prominent public figures who speak out against vaccination, advocate unproven, “natural” treatments for (currently) medically incurable diseases, make claims for a flat Earth, or advocate for the insertion of jade eggs to strengthen vaginal muscles, there is a serious challenge to the scientific community as to how to maintain an appreciation for established scientific conclusions and to convey the underlying logic of the scientific enterprise.

    In the context of origin-of-life studies, a key is to explicitly recognize the constraints under which science operates. In contrast to the quote from Jack Szostak and colleagues in a 2001 Nature article, “Defining life is notoriously difficult; its very diversity resists the confines of any compact definition,” the real problem is that the diversity of life, as we know it, is superficial and something of an illusion—we know of only one type of life, one original organism, and all of the subsequent organisms derived from it by various evolutionary processes. Moreover, we cannot examine this “last universal common ancestor” or LUCA, although there is no scientific doubt that A) it existed, B) it used DNA to store information, C) information was expressed in the form of RNAs, many of which, in turn, encoded polypeptides/proteins, D) it was bounded by a lipid membrane, and F) it can be characterized as a nonequilibrium reaction system, one that has been running continuously for billions of years and whose descendants are present in every living cell since (see my 2010 article on the topic).

    LUCA was pretty complex, with the machinery to maintain its nonequilibrium state, a specific nucleotide-to-polypeptide coding scheme, and the ability to carry out DNA replication, transcription factor–regulated RNA synthesis, and ribosome-mediated, RNA-directed polypeptide synthesis. We might go a little further, and speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one. The evolutionary adaption of a cell wall to deal with hypo- and hyper-osmotic conditions was likely an early (post-LUCA) innovation that allowed the spread and diversification of proto-bacteria and proto-archaea to more osmotically challenging environments—perhaps driven in part to escape wall-less predators, as proposed by Patrick Forterre of the Institut Pasteur

    But what came before and the exact steps leading to LUCA are unknowable. Moreover, the billions of years that have elapsed since LUCA’s origin and the active nature of evolutionary processes that result in new genes “popping out” of the noise and becoming essential in organisms from fruit flies to humans, combined with the reality of structural or functional convergences, the growing recognition of small and alternative open reading frames that encode functionally different proteins, and the ubiquity of various forms of horizontal gene transfer, means that historic details and their evolutionary drivers are often obscure.

    All this not withstanding, until non-LUCA-derived forms of life are discovered, it does not serve the integrity of science as a source of dependable knowledge to speculate on what came before LUCA much beyond that.

    14. What is the tone of the passage
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The passage is critical, the author criticizes the many attempts by scientists and those in ‘popular culture’ to speculate beyond empirical evidence and persuades us of his opinion that we should not speculate beyond scientific evidence.

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    What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

    There is a pernicious temptation in science to speak authoritatively about topics that are beyond scientific exploration and certainty. This has led some theoretical physicists to advocate for a “post-empirical” form of science. That is the idea that theories need not be judged on their ability to make new and testable predictions about the observable universe, in some cases, the absence of a plausible alternative is sufficient. One might be forgiven if one sees an analogous situation in biology, specifically when it comes to the origin(s) of life on Earth or elsewhere, and the steps behind major, essentially historical evolutionary events. For example, there are almost daily reports (and rather excited press releases) of how some scientific observations argue for the plausibility of life on other planets, in other solar systems, or in other galaxies, when in fact, what has been found is one or another organic molecule, or hints of organic material, in meteorites and comets. Rarely is the fact that we have yet to find life anywhere but here on Earth mentioned explicitly.

    In a world in which magical thinking persists in popular culture, as witness the number of prominent public figures who speak out against vaccination, advocate unproven, “natural” treatments for (currently) medically incurable diseases, make claims for a flat Earth, or advocate for the insertion of jade eggs to strengthen vaginal muscles, there is a serious challenge to the scientific community as to how to maintain an appreciation for established scientific conclusions and to convey the underlying logic of the scientific enterprise.

    In the context of origin-of-life studies, a key is to explicitly recognize the constraints under which science operates. In contrast to the quote from Jack Szostak and colleagues in a 2001 Nature article, “Defining life is notoriously difficult; its very diversity resists the confines of any compact definition,” the real problem is that the diversity of life, as we know it, is superficial and something of an illusion—we know of only one type of life, one original organism, and all of the subsequent organisms derived from it by various evolutionary processes. Moreover, we cannot examine this “last universal common ancestor” or LUCA, although there is no scientific doubt that A) it existed, B) it used DNA to store information, C) information was expressed in the form of RNAs, many of which, in turn, encoded polypeptides/proteins, D) it was bounded by a lipid membrane, and F) it can be characterized as a nonequilibrium reaction system, one that has been running continuously for billions of years and whose descendants are present in every living cell since (see my 2010 article on the topic).

    LUCA was pretty complex, with the machinery to maintain its nonequilibrium state, a specific nucleotide-to-polypeptide coding scheme, and the ability to carry out DNA replication, transcription factor–regulated RNA synthesis, and ribosome-mediated, RNA-directed polypeptide synthesis. We might go a little further, and speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one. The evolutionary adaption of a cell wall to deal with hypo- and hyper-osmotic conditions was likely an early (post-LUCA) innovation that allowed the spread and diversification of proto-bacteria and proto-archaea to more osmotically challenging environments—perhaps driven in part to escape wall-less predators, as proposed by Patrick Forterre of the Institut Pasteur

    But what came before and the exact steps leading to LUCA are unknowable. Moreover, the billions of years that have elapsed since LUCA’s origin and the active nature of evolutionary processes that result in new genes “popping out” of the noise and becoming essential in organisms from fruit flies to humans, combined with the reality of structural or functional convergences, the growing recognition of small and alternative open reading frames that encode functionally different proteins, and the ubiquity of various forms of horizontal gene transfer, means that historic details and their evolutionary drivers are often obscure.

    All this not withstanding, until non-LUCA-derived forms of life are discovered, it does not serve the integrity of science as a source of dependable knowledge to speculate on what came before LUCA much beyond that.

    15. What is the author’s main argument?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author’s main argument is that we should stop speculating (making guesses when we have no real evidence) in order to maintain the integrity (honour and honesty) of science. The last line of the text gives you a clue as to this.

    a. Correct

    b. This is the counter argument to the author’s point

    c. This is an extreme version of the author’s argument

    d. This is too narrow a version of the author’s argument

    e. This is a statement in support of the main conclusion

    QUESTION TIP! If you are stuck on a ‘main point question’ re-read the introduction and a conclusion to give you a clue as to the gist of the text.

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    What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

    There is a pernicious temptation in science to speak authoritatively about topics that are beyond scientific exploration and certainty. This has led some theoretical physicists to advocate for a “post-empirical” form of science. That is the idea that theories need not be judged on their ability to make new and testable predictions about the observable universe, in some cases, the absence of a plausible alternative is sufficient. One might be forgiven if one sees an analogous situation in biology, specifically when it comes to the origin(s) of life on Earth or elsewhere, and the steps behind major, essentially historical evolutionary events. For example, there are almost daily reports (and rather excited press releases) of how some scientific observations argue for the plausibility of life on other planets, in other solar systems, or in other galaxies, when in fact, what has been found is one or another organic molecule, or hints of organic material, in meteorites and comets. Rarely is the fact that we have yet to find life anywhere but here on Earth mentioned explicitly.

    In a world in which magical thinking persists in popular culture, as witness the number of prominent public figures who speak out against vaccination, advocate unproven, “natural” treatments for (currently) medically incurable diseases, make claims for a flat Earth, or advocate for the insertion of jade eggs to strengthen vaginal muscles, there is a serious challenge to the scientific community as to how to maintain an appreciation for established scientific conclusions and to convey the underlying logic of the scientific enterprise.

    In the context of origin-of-life studies, a key is to explicitly recognize the constraints under which science operates. In contrast to the quote from Jack Szostak and colleagues in a 2001 Nature article, “Defining life is notoriously difficult; its very diversity resists the confines of any compact definition,” the real problem is that the diversity of life, as we know it, is superficial and something of an illusion—we know of only one type of life, one original organism, and all of the subsequent organisms derived from it by various evolutionary processes. Moreover, we cannot examine this “last universal common ancestor” or LUCA, although there is no scientific doubt that A) it existed, B) it used DNA to store information, C) information was expressed in the form of RNAs, many of which, in turn, encoded polypeptides/proteins, D) it was bounded by a lipid membrane, and F) it can be characterized as a nonequilibrium reaction system, one that has been running continuously for billions of years and whose descendants are present in every living cell since (see my 2010 article on the topic).

    LUCA was pretty complex, with the machinery to maintain its nonequilibrium state, a specific nucleotide-to-polypeptide coding scheme, and the ability to carry out DNA replication, transcription factor–regulated RNA synthesis, and ribosome-mediated, RNA-directed polypeptide synthesis. We might go a little further, and speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one. The evolutionary adaption of a cell wall to deal with hypo- and hyper-osmotic conditions was likely an early (post-LUCA) innovation that allowed the spread and diversification of proto-bacteria and proto-archaea to more osmotically challenging environments—perhaps driven in part to escape wall-less predators, as proposed by Patrick Forterre of the Institut Pasteur

    But what came before and the exact steps leading to LUCA are unknowable. Moreover, the billions of years that have elapsed since LUCA’s origin and the active nature of evolutionary processes that result in new genes “popping out” of the noise and becoming essential in organisms from fruit flies to humans, combined with the reality of structural or functional convergences, the growing recognition of small and alternative open reading frames that encode functionally different proteins, and the ubiquity of various forms of horizontal gene transfer, means that historic details and their evolutionary drivers are often obscure.

    All this not withstanding, until non-LUCA-derived forms of life are discovered, it does not serve the integrity of science as a source of dependable knowledge to speculate on what came before LUCA much beyond that.

    16. What does LUCA stand for?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    This is an easier question that just requires recall from the text. One thing that is very important though, is spelling. You should check that you have picked the right option and cross off all the other answers even if you think you have picked the right one.

    PRACTICE TIP! To check you have picked the right answer, go through the other answers and make sure you can EXPLAIN why each option is incorrect.

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    What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

    There is a pernicious temptation in science to speak authoritatively about topics that are beyond scientific exploration and certainty. This has led some theoretical physicists to advocate for a “post-empirical” form of science. That is the idea that theories need not be judged on their ability to make new and testable predictions about the observable universe, in some cases, the absence of a plausible alternative is sufficient. One might be forgiven if one sees an analogous situation in biology, specifically when it comes to the origin(s) of life on Earth or elsewhere, and the steps behind major, essentially historical evolutionary events. For example, there are almost daily reports (and rather excited press releases) of how some scientific observations argue for the plausibility of life on other planets, in other solar systems, or in other galaxies, when in fact, what has been found is one or another organic molecule, or hints of organic material, in meteorites and comets. Rarely is the fact that we have yet to find life anywhere but here on Earth mentioned explicitly.

    In a world in which magical thinking persists in popular culture, as witness the number of prominent public figures who speak out against vaccination, advocate unproven, “natural” treatments for (currently) medically incurable diseases, make claims for a flat Earth, or advocate for the insertion of jade eggs to strengthen vaginal muscles, there is a serious challenge to the scientific community as to how to maintain an appreciation for established scientific conclusions and to convey the underlying logic of the scientific enterprise.

    In the context of origin-of-life studies, a key is to explicitly recognize the constraints under which science operates. In contrast to the quote from Jack Szostak and colleagues in a 2001 Nature article, “Defining life is notoriously difficult; its very diversity resists the confines of any compact definition,” the real problem is that the diversity of life, as we know it, is superficial and something of an illusion—we know of only one type of life, one original organism, and all of the subsequent organisms derived from it by various evolutionary processes. Moreover, we cannot examine this “last universal common ancestor” or LUCA, although there is no scientific doubt that A) it existed, B) it used DNA to store information, C) information was expressed in the form of RNAs, many of which, in turn, encoded polypeptides/proteins, D) it was bounded by a lipid membrane, and F) it can be characterized as a nonequilibrium reaction system, one that has been running continuously for billions of years and whose descendants are present in every living cell since (see my 2010 article on the topic).

    LUCA was pretty complex, with the machinery to maintain its nonequilibrium state, a specific nucleotide-to-polypeptide coding scheme, and the ability to carry out DNA replication, transcription factor–regulated RNA synthesis, and ribosome-mediated, RNA-directed polypeptide synthesis. We might go a little further, and speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one. The evolutionary adaption of a cell wall to deal with hypo- and hyper-osmotic conditions was likely an early (post-LUCA) innovation that allowed the spread and diversification of proto-bacteria and proto-archaea to more osmotically challenging environments—perhaps driven in part to escape wall-less predators, as proposed by Patrick Forterre of the Institut Pasteur

    But what came before and the exact steps leading to LUCA are unknowable. Moreover, the billions of years that have elapsed since LUCA’s origin and the active nature of evolutionary processes that result in new genes “popping out” of the noise and becoming essential in organisms from fruit flies to humans, combined with the reality of structural or functional convergences, the growing recognition of small and alternative open reading frames that encode functionally different proteins, and the ubiquity of various forms of horizontal gene transfer, means that historic details and their evolutionary drivers are often obscure.

    All this not withstanding, until non-LUCA-derived forms of life are discovered, it does not serve the integrity of science as a source of dependable knowledge to speculate on what came before LUCA much beyond that.

    17. Which of the following is not definitely a characteristic of LUCA
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The text says we might go further and ‘speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one’, since the text says ‘speculate’ we cannot be sure that this is definitely a characteristic.

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    What we can know about biology before the last universal common ancestor is limited—and we should be circumspect in filling in the gaps.

    There is a pernicious temptation in science to speak authoritatively about topics that are beyond scientific exploration and certainty. This has led some theoretical physicists to advocate for a “post-empirical” form of science. That is the idea that theories need not be judged on their ability to make new and testable predictions about the observable universe, in some cases, the absence of a plausible alternative is sufficient. One might be forgiven if one sees an analogous situation in biology, specifically when it comes to the origin(s) of life on Earth or elsewhere, and the steps behind major, essentially historical evolutionary events. For example, there are almost daily reports (and rather excited press releases) of how some scientific observations argue for the plausibility of life on other planets, in other solar systems, or in other galaxies, when in fact, what has been found is one or another organic molecule, or hints of organic material, in meteorites and comets. Rarely is the fact that we have yet to find life anywhere but here on Earth mentioned explicitly.

    In a world in which magical thinking persists in popular culture, as witness the number of prominent public figures who speak out against vaccination, advocate unproven, “natural” treatments for (currently) medically incurable diseases, make claims for a flat Earth, or advocate for the insertion of jade eggs to strengthen vaginal muscles, there is a serious challenge to the scientific community as to how to maintain an appreciation for established scientific conclusions and to convey the underlying logic of the scientific enterprise.

    In the context of origin-of-life studies, a key is to explicitly recognize the constraints under which science operates. In contrast to the quote from Jack Szostak and colleagues in a 2001 Nature article, “Defining life is notoriously difficult; its very diversity resists the confines of any compact definition,” the real problem is that the diversity of life, as we know it, is superficial and something of an illusion—we know of only one type of life, one original organism, and all of the subsequent organisms derived from it by various evolutionary processes. Moreover, we cannot examine this “last universal common ancestor” or LUCA, although there is no scientific doubt that A) it existed, B) it used DNA to store information, C) information was expressed in the form of RNAs, many of which, in turn, encoded polypeptides/proteins, D) it was bounded by a lipid membrane, and F) it can be characterized as a nonequilibrium reaction system, one that has been running continuously for billions of years and whose descendants are present in every living cell since (see my 2010 article on the topic).

    LUCA was pretty complex, with the machinery to maintain its nonequilibrium state, a specific nucleotide-to-polypeptide coding scheme, and the ability to carry out DNA replication, transcription factor–regulated RNA synthesis, and ribosome-mediated, RNA-directed polypeptide synthesis. We might go a little further, and speculate that LUCA arose in a special environmental niche, and given its membrane-nature, likely an iso-osmotic one. The evolutionary adaption of a cell wall to deal with hypo- and hyper-osmotic conditions was likely an early (post-LUCA) innovation that allowed the spread and diversification of proto-bacteria and proto-archaea to more osmotically challenging environments—perhaps driven in part to escape wall-less predators, as proposed by Patrick Forterre of the Institut Pasteur

    But what came before and the exact steps leading to LUCA are unknowable. Moreover, the billions of years that have elapsed since LUCA’s origin and the active nature of evolutionary processes that result in new genes “popping out” of the noise and becoming essential in organisms from fruit flies to humans, combined with the reality of structural or functional convergences, the growing recognition of small and alternative open reading frames that encode functionally different proteins, and the ubiquity of various forms of horizontal gene transfer, means that historic details and their evolutionary drivers are often obscure.

    All this not withstanding, until non-LUCA-derived forms of life are discovered, it does not serve the integrity of science as a source of dependable knowledge to speculate on what came before LUCA much beyond that.

    18. Why can we not analyze LUCA?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The answer is E, all of the other options are given as true and known things despite which we still cannot analyze LUCA. The reason that we cannot analyze LUCA is because things beyond answer option a-d are unknowable, i.e. there is no empirical evidence and we would be merely speculating.

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    Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”? (John D Loike)

    Determining which products of advanced biotechnology are deserving of legal protections is essential to our own social architecture.

    There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    For example, is there a percent composition of human neurons incorporated into an animal’s brain that renders such a chimera human? Similarly, other stem cell technologies exist to create mice that produce human sperm or eggs. If human gametes from these mice are used to generate a healthy baby, would that baby be considered human?

    Human status and personhood have different meanings. Biologically, the term “human being” refers to an animal that genetically belongs to the species Homo sapiens. Many religious scholars include “ensoulment”—defined as the instant a human being attains a soul—as a characteristic of human status. In general, personhood denotes a set of capacities that imply both the ability to engage in certain sophisticated behaviors and an elevated moral standing deserving of certain legal protections. Specifically, many secular ethicists have described personhood using capacity-based definitions. The difficulty with both religious and secular definitions of human status or personhood is that we have no established scientific methods to accurately assess these criteria.

    How we define human status and apply personhood to any organism underscores a central tenet of bioethics and social justice—respecting the quality and value of life.

    I would like to present a slightly different approach from the above-mentioned criteria that addresses the definitions of human status and personhood in human-animal chimeras. First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Second, human status is given to any individual born from a human being and/or derived from human gametes regardless of its capacity-based functions or cognitive capabilities. The extension of this criterion would be that a child born from human gametes regardless of the source of these human cells would also be regarded as human.

    Thus, an embryo produced using gamete-like cells obtained from human blood or human sperm or eggs produced from a genetically altered mouse would still attain both human and personhood status. Similarly, a human embryo created in vitro from human gametes and transplanted into an artificial placenta or genetically altered animal that contains a human uterus, would still have human status. These technologies are not hypothetical—ectogenesis, or development outside the natural womb, has already been shown to preserve premature lambs, and xenotransplantation biotechnologies used to produce human-pig chimeras could be applied to other animals to generate, say, a cow with a human uterus.

    19. What is the tone of the passage
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The passage is theoretical, it asks big questions about the meaning of ‘personhood’ in light of recent scientific developments.

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    Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”? (John D Loike)

    Determining which products of advanced biotechnology are deserving of legal protections is essential to our own social architecture.

    There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    For example, is there a percent composition of human neurons incorporated into an animal’s brain that renders such a chimera human? Similarly, other stem cell technologies exist to create mice that produce human sperm or eggs. If human gametes from these mice are used to generate a healthy baby, would that baby be considered human?

    Human status and personhood have different meanings. Biologically, the term “human being” refers to an animal that genetically belongs to the species Homo sapiens. Many religious scholars include “ensoulment”—defined as the instant a human being attains a soul—as a characteristic of human status. In general, personhood denotes a set of capacities that imply both the ability to engage in certain sophisticated behaviors and an elevated moral standing deserving of certain legal protections. Specifically, many secular ethicists have described personhood using capacity-based definitions. The difficulty with both religious and secular definitions of human status or personhood is that we have no established scientific methods to accurately assess these criteria.

    How we define human status and apply personhood to any organism underscores a central tenet of bioethics and social justice—respecting the quality and value of life.

    I would like to present a slightly different approach from the above-mentioned criteria that addresses the definitions of human status and personhood in human-animal chimeras. First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Second, human status is given to any individual born from a human being and/or derived from human gametes regardless of its capacity-based functions or cognitive capabilities. The extension of this criterion would be that a child born from human gametes regardless of the source of these human cells would also be regarded as human.

    Thus, an embryo produced using gamete-like cells obtained from human blood or human sperm or eggs produced from a genetically altered mouse would still attain both human and personhood status. Similarly, a human embryo created in vitro from human gametes and transplanted into an artificial placenta or genetically altered animal that contains a human uterus, would still have human status. These technologies are not hypothetical—ectogenesis, or development outside the natural womb, has already been shown to preserve premature lambs, and xenotransplantation biotechnologies used to produce human-pig chimeras could be applied to other animals to generate, say, a cow with a human uterus.

    20. What broader question is prompted from the passage?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The question prompts us to ask what ‘personhood’ means in the modern scientific world

    a. Correct

    b. The author lists consequences of theoretical discussion

    c. Human animal chimeras are really an example to evidence a wider point

    d. This is too extreme

    e. This is not relevant to the question at hand

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    Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”? (John D Loike)

    Determining which products of advanced biotechnology are deserving of legal protections is essential to our own social architecture.

    There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    For example, is there a percent composition of human neurons incorporated into an animal’s brain that renders such a chimera human? Similarly, other stem cell technologies exist to create mice that produce human sperm or eggs. If human gametes from these mice are used to generate a healthy baby, would that baby be considered human?

    Human status and personhood have different meanings. Biologically, the term “human being” refers to an animal that genetically belongs to the species Homo sapiens. Many religious scholars include “ensoulment”—defined as the instant a human being attains a soul—as a characteristic of human status. In general, personhood denotes a set of capacities that imply both the ability to engage in certain sophisticated behaviors and an elevated moral standing deserving of certain legal protections. Specifically, many secular ethicists have described personhood using capacity-based definitions. The difficulty with both religious and secular definitions of human status or personhood is that we have no established scientific methods to accurately assess these criteria.

    How we define human status and apply personhood to any organism underscores a central tenet of bioethics and social justice—respecting the quality and value of life.

    I would like to present a slightly different approach from the above-mentioned criteria that addresses the definitions of human status and personhood in human-animal chimeras. First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Second, human status is given to any individual born from a human being and/or derived from human gametes regardless of its capacity-based functions or cognitive capabilities. The extension of this criterion would be that a child born from human gametes regardless of the source of these human cells would also be regarded as human.

    Thus, an embryo produced using gamete-like cells obtained from human blood or human sperm or eggs produced from a genetically altered mouse would still attain both human and personhood status. Similarly, a human embryo created in vitro from human gametes and transplanted into an artificial placenta or genetically altered animal that contains a human uterus, would still have human status. These technologies are not hypothetical—ectogenesis, or development outside the natural womb, has already been shown to preserve premature lambs, and xenotransplantation biotechnologies used to produce human-pig chimeras could be applied to other animals to generate, say, a cow with a human uterus.

    21. Which of the following would not fall under a capacity based definition?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Capacity based definition means your ability to do something, this means it is a characteristic that can be put on a scale. Attainment of a soul is not a capacity, you are not ‘able’ to have a soul you either have one or you don’t

    QUESTION TIP! Note that you are looking for the odd one out: ability, engagement, capacity and presence are all more similar in meaning than ‘attainment’.

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    Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”? (John D Loike)

    Determining which products of advanced biotechnology are deserving of legal protections is essential to our own social architecture.

    There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    For example, is there a percent composition of human neurons incorporated into an animal’s brain that renders such a chimera human? Similarly, other stem cell technologies exist to create mice that produce human sperm or eggs. If human gametes from these mice are used to generate a healthy baby, would that baby be considered human?

    Human status and personhood have different meanings. Biologically, the term “human being” refers to an animal that genetically belongs to the species Homo sapiens. Many religious scholars include “ensoulment”—defined as the instant a human being attains a soul—as a characteristic of human status. In general, personhood denotes a set of capacities that imply both the ability to engage in certain sophisticated behaviors and an elevated moral standing deserving of certain legal protections. Specifically, many secular ethicists have described personhood using capacity-based definitions. The difficulty with both religious and secular definitions of human status or personhood is that we have no established scientific methods to accurately assess these criteria.

    How we define human status and apply personhood to any organism underscores a central tenet of bioethics and social justice—respecting the quality and value of life.

    I would like to present a slightly different approach from the above-mentioned criteria that addresses the definitions of human status and personhood in human-animal chimeras. First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Second, human status is given to any individual born from a human being and/or derived from human gametes regardless of its capacity-based functions or cognitive capabilities. The extension of this criterion would be that a child born from human gametes regardless of the source of these human cells would also be regarded as human.

    Thus, an embryo produced using gamete-like cells obtained from human blood or human sperm or eggs produced from a genetically altered mouse would still attain both human and personhood status. Similarly, a human embryo created in vitro from human gametes and transplanted into an artificial placenta or genetically altered animal that contains a human uterus, would still have human status. These technologies are not hypothetical—ectogenesis, or development outside the natural womb, has already been shown to preserve premature lambs, and xenotransplantation biotechnologies used to produce human-pig chimeras could be applied to other animals to generate, say, a cow with a human uterus.

    22. Which of the following is not supported by evidence in the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Hence, A is incorrect, the author says that if an organism has human status it MUST attain personhood status not MAY attain personhood status.

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    Opinion: Should Human-Animal Chimeras Be Granted “Personhood”? (John D Loike)

    Determining which products of advanced biotechnology are deserving of legal protections is essential to our own social architecture.

    There are several emerging biotechnologies that raise ethical questions regarding the definition of personhood. One of these innovations is xenotransplantation, which uses gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and stem cell technologies to create human-pig or human-sheep chimeras that can grow human organs for transplantation. While most people understand that pigs growing human livers and kidneys could save lives, there is an ethical fear that these technologies may generate animals that incorporate human cells into their brains or sex organs—situations that require broader discussions regarding the question whether such organisms attain the status of personhood.

    For example, is there a percent composition of human neurons incorporated into an animal’s brain that renders such a chimera human? Similarly, other stem cell technologies exist to create mice that produce human sperm or eggs. If human gametes from these mice are used to generate a healthy baby, would that baby be considered human?

    Human status and personhood have different meanings. Biologically, the term “human being” refers to an animal that genetically belongs to the species Homo sapiens. Many religious scholars include “ensoulment”—defined as the instant a human being attains a soul—as a characteristic of human status. In general, personhood denotes a set of capacities that imply both the ability to engage in certain sophisticated behaviors and an elevated moral standing deserving of certain legal protections. Specifically, many secular ethicists have described personhood using capacity-based definitions. The difficulty with both religious and secular definitions of human status or personhood is that we have no established scientific methods to accurately assess these criteria.

    How we define human status and apply personhood to any organism underscores a central tenet of bioethics and social justice—respecting the quality and value of life.

    I would like to present a slightly different approach from the above-mentioned criteria that addresses the definitions of human status and personhood in human-animal chimeras. First, any living organism that has human status also attains personhood status. But conferring personhood does not necessarily confer human status. Second, human status is given to any individual born from a human being and/or derived from human gametes regardless of its capacity-based functions or cognitive capabilities. The extension of this criterion would be that a child born from human gametes regardless of the source of these human cells would also be regarded as human.

    Thus, an embryo produced using gamete-like cells obtained from human blood or human sperm or eggs produced from a genetically altered mouse would still attain both human and personhood status. Similarly, a human embryo created in vitro from human gametes and transplanted into an artificial placenta or genetically altered animal that contains a human uterus, would still have human status. These technologies are not hypothetical—ectogenesis, or development outside the natural womb, has already been shown to preserve premature lambs, and xenotransplantation biotechnologies used to produce human-pig chimeras could be applied to other animals to generate, say, a cow with a human uterus.

    23. Which of the following is not suggested as a reason for discussing the meaning of personhood?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The existence of human animal chimeras is an example used to help us discuss the meaning of personhood. All the other options can be located in the text.

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    Opinion: How to Use Mobile Apps for Immunohistochemistry

    (Alexander E . Kalyuzhny)

    The evolution of science apps on smart phones over the past decade has gone from general overviews of bacteria, plants, and animals, to those for specialized areas of research and experimental techniques, including those to aid immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses.

    With a considerable number of IHC-related apps now at the disposal of scientists, it can be time-consuming to figure out which one will best suit your needs. To help out, I have developed a short overview of the mobile apps most suitable for IHC lab work based on personally testing them for extended periods of time.  I have tried to analyze apps that were designed as IHC productivity tools as well as those that can assist researchers in choosing primary antibodies for IHC and tissue stains.

    Based on more than three decades of IHC experience, I think that IHC apps should serve as problem-solving tools rather than a mere collection of protocols and antibody catalogs copied from websites. Usually, protocols and antibodies are chosen far in advance and are not changed during an experiment. However, often due to last-minute changes in the number of samples to be stained and suddenly noticed experimental flaws, there is a need to update the calculations of antibody dilutions and their working volumes, which is critical to the success of IHC staining. Thus, it appears that apps like IHC Navigator, reviewed below, would be the most practical in experimental environments, and I hope to see more of them coming in the near future.

    IHC productivity apps

    SoS IHC (iOS & Android) This app is designed for pathologists who use IHC for diagnostics. It lists a large number of tumor types and positive and negative biomarkers characterizing each type of tumor. It can be used as a quick reference guide for pathologists on tumor antigens but does not provide IHC protocols. The app includes recommendations for which primary antibodies to use when facing ambiguous results but does not provide information on IHC detection reagents or antibody dilution calculations.       

    HER2 Reader (iOS only) This app is exclusively focused on tumor diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). By entering the number of ER-, PgR- and HER2-positive cells, intensity of IHC signal and the profile of membrane staining, the app determines the possible tumor type. In addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization (ISH) data based on the number of HER-2 copies per cell and analyzes HER-2 amplification by calculating the HER-2/centromere enumerator probe 17 (CEP-17) ratio. It does not provide IHC protocols or antibody dilution calculating tools.

    IHC Navigator (iOS only) This is a bona fide IHC calculator of antibody dilutions used for diagnostics and basic science research. The user enters the antibody stock solution concentration, the number of slides to stain, and the approximate volume of antibody working solution per slide and the app accurately calculates how much stock solution and antibody diluent should be mixed together to make the antibody working solution for either single-color or multicolor IHC. It has a very useful feature that allows the user to determine the volume of working solution based on the tissue section areas. The app allows users to save calculations. As a bonus, the app also allows users to calculate the antibody working solutions for immunocytochemistry (ICC) using cells cultured in multi-well plates and chamber slides. It does not include IHC protocols.

    24. What is the tone of the passage
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The text is ‘informative’ because it is a guide to different apps. It is not trying to persuade the reader to use apps or a certain app, but to simplify information for the reader to digest.

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    Opinion: How to Use Mobile Apps for Immunohistochemistry

    (Alexander E . Kalyuzhny)

    The evolution of science apps on smart phones over the past decade has gone from general overviews of bacteria, plants, and animals, to those for specialized areas of research and experimental techniques, including those to aid immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses.

    With a considerable number of IHC-related apps now at the disposal of scientists, it can be time-consuming to figure out which one will best suit your needs. To help out, I have developed a short overview of the mobile apps most suitable for IHC lab work based on personally testing them for extended periods of time.  I have tried to analyze apps that were designed as IHC productivity tools as well as those that can assist researchers in choosing primary antibodies for IHC and tissue stains.

    Based on more than three decades of IHC experience, I think that IHC apps should serve as problem-solving tools rather than a mere collection of protocols and antibody catalogs copied from websites. Usually, protocols and antibodies are chosen far in advance and are not changed during an experiment. However, often due to last-minute changes in the number of samples to be stained and suddenly noticed experimental flaws, there is a need to update the calculations of antibody dilutions and their working volumes, which is critical to the success of IHC staining. Thus, it appears that apps like IHC Navigator, reviewed below, would be the most practical in experimental environments, and I hope to see more of them coming in the near future.

    IHC productivity apps

    SoS IHC (iOS & Android) This app is designed for pathologists who use IHC for diagnostics. It lists a large number of tumor types and positive and negative biomarkers characterizing each type of tumor. It can be used as a quick reference guide for pathologists on tumor antigens but does not provide IHC protocols. The app includes recommendations for which primary antibodies to use when facing ambiguous results but does not provide information on IHC detection reagents or antibody dilution calculations.       

    HER2 Reader (iOS only) This app is exclusively focused on tumor diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). By entering the number of ER-, PgR- and HER2-positive cells, intensity of IHC signal and the profile of membrane staining, the app determines the possible tumor type. In addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization (ISH) data based on the number of HER-2 copies per cell and analyzes HER-2 amplification by calculating the HER-2/centromere enumerator probe 17 (CEP-17) ratio. It does not provide IHC protocols or antibody dilution calculating tools.

    IHC Navigator (iOS only) This is a bona fide IHC calculator of antibody dilutions used for diagnostics and basic science research. The user enters the antibody stock solution concentration, the number of slides to stain, and the approximate volume of antibody working solution per slide and the app accurately calculates how much stock solution and antibody diluent should be mixed together to make the antibody working solution for either single-color or multicolor IHC. It has a very useful feature that allows the user to determine the volume of working solution based on the tissue section areas. The app allows users to save calculations. As a bonus, the app also allows users to calculate the antibody working solutions for immunocytochemistry (ICC) using cells cultured in multi-well plates and chamber slides. It does not include IHC protocols.

    25. What does IHC stand for?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    This is a simple question which requires recall from the passage. You must however be very careful to double check spelling to make sure you pick the right answer.

    QUESTION TIP! Write down the word on your whiteboard, go back to the passage and cross off the word letter by letter to check the spelling

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    Opinion: How to Use Mobile Apps for Immunohistochemistry

    (Alexander E . Kalyuzhny)

    The evolution of science apps on smart phones over the past decade has gone from general overviews of bacteria, plants, and animals, to those for specialized areas of research and experimental techniques, including those to aid immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses.

    With a considerable number of IHC-related apps now at the disposal of scientists, it can be time-consuming to figure out which one will best suit your needs. To help out, I have developed a short overview of the mobile apps most suitable for IHC lab work based on personally testing them for extended periods of time.  I have tried to analyze apps that were designed as IHC productivity tools as well as those that can assist researchers in choosing primary antibodies for IHC and tissue stains.

    Based on more than three decades of IHC experience, I think that IHC apps should serve as problem-solving tools rather than a mere collection of protocols and antibody catalogs copied from websites. Usually, protocols and antibodies are chosen far in advance and are not changed during an experiment. However, often due to last-minute changes in the number of samples to be stained and suddenly noticed experimental flaws, there is a need to update the calculations of antibody dilutions and their working volumes, which is critical to the success of IHC staining. Thus, it appears that apps like IHC Navigator, reviewed below, would be the most practical in experimental environments, and I hope to see more of them coming in the near future.

    IHC productivity apps

    SoS IHC (iOS & Android) This app is designed for pathologists who use IHC for diagnostics. It lists a large number of tumor types and positive and negative biomarkers characterizing each type of tumor. It can be used as a quick reference guide for pathologists on tumor antigens but does not provide IHC protocols. The app includes recommendations for which primary antibodies to use when facing ambiguous results but does not provide information on IHC detection reagents or antibody dilution calculations.       

    HER2 Reader (iOS only) This app is exclusively focused on tumor diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). By entering the number of ER-, PgR- and HER2-positive cells, intensity of IHC signal and the profile of membrane staining, the app determines the possible tumor type. In addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization (ISH) data based on the number of HER-2 copies per cell and analyzes HER-2 amplification by calculating the HER-2/centromere enumerator probe 17 (CEP-17) ratio. It does not provide IHC protocols or antibody dilution calculating tools.

    IHC Navigator (iOS only) This is a bona fide IHC calculator of antibody dilutions used for diagnostics and basic science research. The user enters the antibody stock solution concentration, the number of slides to stain, and the approximate volume of antibody working solution per slide and the app accurately calculates how much stock solution and antibody diluent should be mixed together to make the antibody working solution for either single-color or multicolor IHC. It has a very useful feature that allows the user to determine the volume of working solution based on the tissue section areas. The app allows users to save calculations. As a bonus, the app also allows users to calculate the antibody working solutions for immunocytochemistry (ICC) using cells cultured in multi-well plates and chamber slides. It does not include IHC protocols.

    26. Which app does the text suggest would be most appropriate for someone wanting to do basic scientific research using data which includes the volume of working solution based on the tissue section area?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    Both these characteristics are listed under IHC Navigator, take care not to accidentally pick A which is a misspelling of IHC Navigator.

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    Opinion: How to Use Mobile Apps for Immunohistochemistry

    (Alexander E . Kalyuzhny)

    The evolution of science apps on smart phones over the past decade has gone from general overviews of bacteria, plants, and animals, to those for specialized areas of research and experimental techniques, including those to aid immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses.

    With a considerable number of IHC-related apps now at the disposal of scientists, it can be time-consuming to figure out which one will best suit your needs. To help out, I have developed a short overview of the mobile apps most suitable for IHC lab work based on personally testing them for extended periods of time.  I have tried to analyze apps that were designed as IHC productivity tools as well as those that can assist researchers in choosing primary antibodies for IHC and tissue stains.

    Based on more than three decades of IHC experience, I think that IHC apps should serve as problem-solving tools rather than a mere collection of protocols and antibody catalogs copied from websites. Usually, protocols and antibodies are chosen far in advance and are not changed during an experiment. However, often due to last-minute changes in the number of samples to be stained and suddenly noticed experimental flaws, there is a need to update the calculations of antibody dilutions and their working volumes, which is critical to the success of IHC staining. Thus, it appears that apps like IHC Navigator, reviewed below, would be the most practical in experimental environments, and I hope to see more of them coming in the near future.

    IHC productivity apps

    SoS IHC (iOS & Android) This app is designed for pathologists who use IHC for diagnostics. It lists a large number of tumor types and positive and negative biomarkers characterizing each type of tumor. It can be used as a quick reference guide for pathologists on tumor antigens but does not provide IHC protocols. The app includes recommendations for which primary antibodies to use when facing ambiguous results but does not provide information on IHC detection reagents or antibody dilution calculations.       

    HER2 Reader (iOS only) This app is exclusively focused on tumor diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). By entering the number of ER-, PgR- and HER2-positive cells, intensity of IHC signal and the profile of membrane staining, the app determines the possible tumor type. In addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization (ISH) data based on the number of HER-2 copies per cell and analyzes HER-2 amplification by calculating the HER-2/centromere enumerator probe 17 (CEP-17) ratio. It does not provide IHC protocols or antibody dilution calculating tools.

    IHC Navigator (iOS only) This is a bona fide IHC calculator of antibody dilutions used for diagnostics and basic science research. The user enters the antibody stock solution concentration, the number of slides to stain, and the approximate volume of antibody working solution per slide and the app accurately calculates how much stock solution and antibody diluent should be mixed together to make the antibody working solution for either single-color or multicolor IHC. It has a very useful feature that allows the user to determine the volume of working solution based on the tissue section areas. The app allows users to save calculations. As a bonus, the app also allows users to calculate the antibody working solutions for immunocytochemistry (ICC) using cells cultured in multi-well plates and chamber slides. It does not include IHC protocols.

    27. Which of the following does the HER2 Reader not interpret?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The app focuses on tumour diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) and in addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization.

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    Opinion: How to Use Mobile Apps for Immunohistochemistry

    (Alexander E . Kalyuzhny)

    The evolution of science apps on smart phones over the past decade has gone from general overviews of bacteria, plants, and animals, to those for specialized areas of research and experimental techniques, including those to aid immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses.

    With a considerable number of IHC-related apps now at the disposal of scientists, it can be time-consuming to figure out which one will best suit your needs. To help out, I have developed a short overview of the mobile apps most suitable for IHC lab work based on personally testing them for extended periods of time.  I have tried to analyze apps that were designed as IHC productivity tools as well as those that can assist researchers in choosing primary antibodies for IHC and tissue stains.

    Based on more than three decades of IHC experience, I think that IHC apps should serve as problem-solving tools rather than a mere collection of protocols and antibody catalogs copied from websites. Usually, protocols and antibodies are chosen far in advance and are not changed during an experiment. However, often due to last-minute changes in the number of samples to be stained and suddenly noticed experimental flaws, there is a need to update the calculations of antibody dilutions and their working volumes, which is critical to the success of IHC staining. Thus, it appears that apps like IHC Navigator, reviewed below, would be the most practical in experimental environments, and I hope to see more of them coming in the near future.

    IHC productivity apps

    SoS IHC (iOS & Android) This app is designed for pathologists who use IHC for diagnostics. It lists a large number of tumor types and positive and negative biomarkers characterizing each type of tumor. It can be used as a quick reference guide for pathologists on tumor antigens but does not provide IHC protocols. The app includes recommendations for which primary antibodies to use when facing ambiguous results but does not provide information on IHC detection reagents or antibody dilution calculations.       

    HER2 Reader (iOS only) This app is exclusively focused on tumor diagnostics by interpreting IHC staining data of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2). By entering the number of ER-, PgR- and HER2-positive cells, intensity of IHC signal and the profile of membrane staining, the app determines the possible tumor type. In addition to IHC, this app also interprets HER-2 in situ hybridization (ISH) data based on the number of HER-2 copies per cell and analyzes HER-2 amplification by calculating the HER-2/centromere enumerator probe 17 (CEP-17) ratio. It does not provide IHC protocols or antibody dilution calculating tools.

    IHC Navigator (iOS only) This is a bona fide IHC calculator of antibody dilutions used for diagnostics and basic science research. The user enters the antibody stock solution concentration, the number of slides to stain, and the approximate volume of antibody working solution per slide and the app accurately calculates how much stock solution and antibody diluent should be mixed together to make the antibody working solution for either single-color or multicolor IHC. It has a very useful feature that allows the user to determine the volume of working solution based on the tissue section areas. The app allows users to save calculations. As a bonus, the app also allows users to calculate the antibody working solutions for immunocytochemistry (ICC) using cells cultured in multi-well plates and chamber slides. It does not include IHC protocols.

    28. Which of the following is not a fact?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    B is an opinion and not a fact, there are reasons which allow us to argue the point either way. All of the other options are YES or NO statements based on evidence and not opinion.

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    The neuroscience behind why your brain may need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’ 

    Kareem Clark

    With Covid vaccines working and restrictions lifting across the country, it’s finally time for those now vaccinated who have been hunkered down at home to ditch the sweatpants and re-emerge from their Netflix caves. But your brain may not be so eager to dive back into your former social life.

    Social distancing measures proved essential for slowing viral spread worldwide – preventing upward of an estimated 500m cases. But, while necessary, 15 months away from each other has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

    In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene.

    But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.

    So how can people be so lonely yet so nervous about refilling their social calendars?

    Well, the brain is remarkably adaptable. And while we can’t know exactly what our brains have gone through over the last year, neuroscientists like me have some insight into how social isolation and resocialization affect the brain.

    Humans have an evolutionarily hardwired need to socialize – though it may not feel like it when deciding between a dinner invite and rewatching Schitt’s Creek.

    From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom. Social groups provide mating prospects, cooperative hunting and protection from predators.

    But social homeostasis – the right balance of social connections – must be met. Small social networks can’t deliver those benefits, while large ones increase competition for resources and mates. Because of this, human brains developed specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments – much like a social thermostat.

    Social homeostasis involves many brain regions, and at the center is the mesocorticolimbic circuit – or “reward system”. That same circuit motivates you to eat chocolate when you crave something sweet.

    And like those motivations, a recent study found that reducing social interaction causes social cravings – producing brain activity patterns similar to food deprivation.

    So if people hunger for social connection like they hunger for food, what happens to the brain when you starve socially?

    29. What does the author mean by the term ‘social thermostat’?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The answer to this question is found in the line “specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments”, this is why it is important to locate the question term in the text rather than making a guess as to its meaning.

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    The neuroscience behind why your brain may need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’ 

    Kareem Clark

    With Covid vaccines working and restrictions lifting across the country, it’s finally time for those now vaccinated who have been hunkered down at home to ditch the sweatpants and re-emerge from their Netflix caves. But your brain may not be so eager to dive back into your former social life.

    Social distancing measures proved essential for slowing viral spread worldwide – preventing upward of an estimated 500m cases. But, while necessary, 15 months away from each other has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

    In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene.

    But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.

    So how can people be so lonely yet so nervous about refilling their social calendars?

    Well, the brain is remarkably adaptable. And while we can’t know exactly what our brains have gone through over the last year, neuroscientists like me have some insight into how social isolation and resocialization affect the brain.

    Humans have an evolutionarily hardwired need to socialize – though it may not feel like it when deciding between a dinner invite and rewatching Schitt’s Creek.

    From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom. Social groups provide mating prospects, cooperative hunting and protection from predators.

    But social homeostasis – the right balance of social connections – must be met. Small social networks can’t deliver those benefits, while large ones increase competition for resources and mates. Because of this, human brains developed specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments – much like a social thermostat.

    Social homeostasis involves many brain regions, and at the center is the mesocorticolimbic circuit – or “reward system”. That same circuit motivates you to eat chocolate when you crave something sweet.

    And like those motivations, a recent study found that reducing social interaction causes social cravings – producing brain activity patterns similar to food deprivation.

    So if people hunger for social connection like they hunger for food, what happens to the brain when you starve socially?

    30. The author says that a reduction in social interaction causes us to crave socialisation, which of the following is an analogy that is not used by the author?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Importantly, the question said ‘that is not used by the author’, B is the only answer option which fits into the ‘reward’ analogy that is not used by the author themselves.

    QUESTION TIP! Always RTQC, the words ‘that is not used by the author’ make a big difference to the question even though they are easy to miss

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    The neuroscience behind why your brain may need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’ 

    Kareem Clark

    With Covid vaccines working and restrictions lifting across the country, it’s finally time for those now vaccinated who have been hunkered down at home to ditch the sweatpants and re-emerge from their Netflix caves. But your brain may not be so eager to dive back into your former social life.

    Social distancing measures proved essential for slowing viral spread worldwide – preventing upward of an estimated 500m cases. But, while necessary, 15 months away from each other has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

    In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene.

    But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.

    So how can people be so lonely yet so nervous about refilling their social calendars?

    Well, the brain is remarkably adaptable. And while we can’t know exactly what our brains have gone through over the last year, neuroscientists like me have some insight into how social isolation and resocialization affect the brain.

    Humans have an evolutionarily hardwired need to socialize – though it may not feel like it when deciding between a dinner invite and rewatching Schitt’s Creek.

    From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom. Social groups provide mating prospects, cooperative hunting and protection from predators.

    But social homeostasis – the right balance of social connections – must be met. Small social networks can’t deliver those benefits, while large ones increase competition for resources and mates. Because of this, human brains developed specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments – much like a social thermostat.

    Social homeostasis involves many brain regions, and at the center is the mesocorticolimbic circuit – or “reward system”. That same circuit motivates you to eat chocolate when you crave something sweet.

    And like those motivations, a recent study found that reducing social interaction causes social cravings – producing brain activity patterns similar to food deprivation.

    So if people hunger for social connection like they hunger for food, what happens to the brain when you starve socially?

    31. Which of the following is not listed as a benefit of socialization?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    Competition for resources is in the text, but it is listed as a negative not a benefit. All the others are found in the first half of the text.

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    The neuroscience behind why your brain may need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’ 

    Kareem Clark

    With Covid vaccines working and restrictions lifting across the country, it’s finally time for those now vaccinated who have been hunkered down at home to ditch the sweatpants and re-emerge from their Netflix caves. But your brain may not be so eager to dive back into your former social life.

    Social distancing measures proved essential for slowing viral spread worldwide – preventing upward of an estimated 500m cases. But, while necessary, 15 months away from each other has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

    In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene.

    But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.

    So how can people be so lonely yet so nervous about refilling their social calendars?

    Well, the brain is remarkably adaptable. And while we can’t know exactly what our brains have gone through over the last year, neuroscientists like me have some insight into how social isolation and resocialization affect the brain.

    Humans have an evolutionarily hardwired need to socialize – though it may not feel like it when deciding between a dinner invite and rewatching Schitt’s Creek.

    From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom. Social groups provide mating prospects, cooperative hunting and protection from predators.

    But social homeostasis – the right balance of social connections – must be met. Small social networks can’t deliver those benefits, while large ones increase competition for resources and mates. Because of this, human brains developed specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments – much like a social thermostat.

    Social homeostasis involves many brain regions, and at the center is the mesocorticolimbic circuit – or “reward system”. That same circuit motivates you to eat chocolate when you crave something sweet.

    And like those motivations, a recent study found that reducing social interaction causes social cravings – producing brain activity patterns similar to food deprivation.

    So if people hunger for social connection like they hunger for food, what happens to the brain when you starve socially?

    32. If 83,000 people were surveyed, how many young adults would the author expect to report ‘serious loneliness’ during the pandemic?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The text says ‘In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic.’, so we need to do 0.61 x 83,000

    a. Correct

    b. If you put this you misread the question and used 36% rather than 61%

    c. Incorrect 

    d. Incorrect

    e. Incorrect

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    The neuroscience behind why your brain may need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’ 

    Kareem Clark

    With Covid vaccines working and restrictions lifting across the country, it’s finally time for those now vaccinated who have been hunkered down at home to ditch the sweatpants and re-emerge from their Netflix caves. But your brain may not be so eager to dive back into your former social life.

    Social distancing measures proved essential for slowing viral spread worldwide – preventing upward of an estimated 500m cases. But, while necessary, 15 months away from each other has taken a toll on people’s mental health.

    In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the US – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene.

    But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.

    So how can people be so lonely yet so nervous about refilling their social calendars?

    Well, the brain is remarkably adaptable. And while we can’t know exactly what our brains have gone through over the last year, neuroscientists like me have some insight into how social isolation and resocialization affect the brain.

    Humans have an evolutionarily hardwired need to socialize – though it may not feel like it when deciding between a dinner invite and rewatching Schitt’s Creek.

    From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom. Social groups provide mating prospects, cooperative hunting and protection from predators.

    But social homeostasis – the right balance of social connections – must be met. Small social networks can’t deliver those benefits, while large ones increase competition for resources and mates. Because of this, human brains developed specialized circuitry to gauge our relationships and make the correct adjustments – much like a social thermostat.

    Social homeostasis involves many brain regions, and at the center is the mesocorticolimbic circuit – or “reward system”. That same circuit motivates you to eat chocolate when you crave something sweet.

    And like those motivations, a recent study found that reducing social interaction causes social cravings – producing brain activity patterns similar to food deprivation.

    So if people hunger for social connection like they hunger for food, what happens to the brain when you starve socially?

    33. Which of the following can be deduced from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This can be deduced from the line ‘From insects to primates, maintaining social networks is critical for survival in the animal kingdom’.

    a. Insufficient evidence

    b. Correct

    c. Insufficient evidence

    d. False

    e. Incorrect

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    There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before. At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

    The prime minister set out two main arguments in favour of further easing. The first is that well over 90% of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, greatly weakening the link between new infections and hospitalisations. The second is that it is better to have mass infection now rather than in the winter when the virus spreads more easily and the NHS is more stretched. I think both are wrong.

    First, while we are seeing far fewer hospitalisations than would be the case without a vaccine, hospital admissions are nonetheless rising exponentially. With two or three more doublings, we could be seeing more than 2,000 admissions a day by mid-August – a significant burden on a health service that is already under immense strain, with some hospitals having cancelled elective surgeries and delayed cancer treatment.

    The last thing the NHS needs as it tries to cope with its backlog of 5 million patients is a return to giving up wards and ICUs for Covid care. 

    Second, infections come with a high burden of long Covid. The Office for National Statistics estimates about 1 million people, including 33,000 children, currently live with long Covid in the UK, with 385,000 having symptoms for more than a year and over 600,000 saying it adversely impacts their daily life. With infections falling mainly on the unvaccinated young, we risk burdening a generation with long-term ill health. Both the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief executive of NHS Providers, Dr Chris Hopson, have expressed grave concerns over the prospect of hundreds of thousands more cases of long Covid over the coming months.

    Third, every new infection presents an opportunity for further mutations of the virus, and any that can better infect the vaccinated will have a large selection advantage. We have already seen the impact of the Delta variant over the past few months – do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?

    Fourth, opening further has been billed as “freedom day”, but for many it is anything but. Those living with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid fear a return to shielding indoors as they are no longer protected by low infection rates and measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. As even vaccinated people can and do transmit the virus, many of their friends and relatives too will restrict their activities to protect loved ones. For many, lifting the Covid rules will restrict rather than enable their freedom.

    Ultimately, all of this is unnecessary. We have safe and highly effective vaccines, approved for use in everyone over the age of 12. We have an excellent vaccination programme. Evidence suggests that immunity derived from vaccination is more robust than immunity from infection, particularly against new variants. We could offer two doses of vaccine to everyone over 12 by the autumn, offering as many people as possible the protection of vaccination rather than the gamble of infection.

    The argument that delaying now will only result in more infections later in the winter ignores three things: the protection millions more (including adolescents) can have from vaccination; the potential for vulnerable adults to receive booster shots in autumn; and, crucially, our ability to offset the additional infection risks of winter with public health measures

    Infectious diseases are a matter of collective, rather than personal, responsibility. As a society, we could choose to keep in place mask-wearing, some physical distancing and supported isolation of cases and contacts. We could choose to invest in ventilation in business and school buildings – a long-term public health benefit and a key mitigation against Covid. We could choose to suppress this virus over winter and protect our population and our NHS and so provide far more freedom to go about our daily lives. The current government position is that it’s not even going to try. This is not good enough and we have to demand better.

    (edited from an article by Christina pagel)

    34. How many new cases of covid-19 were reported in the week the author calls ‘the week before’?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The text says ‘There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before.’ Hence, 194000 = 135% of the week before, 194000/35 = 1% of the week before and (194000/35) x 100 = 100% of the week before (i.e. all of the week before). If you did not put a you either:

    Misread the number in the question

    Worked out 65% of 194,000 (this is not the correct method)

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    There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before. At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

    The prime minister set out two main arguments in favour of further easing. The first is that well over 90% of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, greatly weakening the link between new infections and hospitalisations. The second is that it is better to have mass infection now rather than in the winter when the virus spreads more easily and the NHS is more stretched. I think both are wrong.

    First, while we are seeing far fewer hospitalisations than would be the case without a vaccine, hospital admissions are nonetheless rising exponentially. With two or three more doublings, we could be seeing more than 2,000 admissions a day by mid-August – a significant burden on a health service that is already under immense strain, with some hospitals having cancelled elective surgeries and delayed cancer treatment.

    The last thing the NHS needs as it tries to cope with its backlog of 5 million patients is a return to giving up wards and ICUs for Covid care. 

    Second, infections come with a high burden of long Covid. The Office for National Statistics estimates about 1 million people, including 33,000 children, currently live with long Covid in the UK, with 385,000 having symptoms for more than a year and over 600,000 saying it adversely impacts their daily life. With infections falling mainly on the unvaccinated young, we risk burdening a generation with long-term ill health. Both the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief executive of NHS Providers, Dr Chris Hopson, have expressed grave concerns over the prospect of hundreds of thousands more cases of long Covid over the coming months.

    Third, every new infection presents an opportunity for further mutations of the virus, and any that can better infect the vaccinated will have a large selection advantage. We have already seen the impact of the Delta variant over the past few months – do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?

    Fourth, opening further has been billed as “freedom day”, but for many it is anything but. Those living with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid fear a return to shielding indoors as they are no longer protected by low infection rates and measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. As even vaccinated people can and do transmit the virus, many of their friends and relatives too will restrict their activities to protect loved ones. For many, lifting the Covid rules will restrict rather than enable their freedom.

    Ultimately, all of this is unnecessary. We have safe and highly effective vaccines, approved for use in everyone over the age of 12. We have an excellent vaccination programme. Evidence suggests that immunity derived from vaccination is more robust than immunity from infection, particularly against new variants. We could offer two doses of vaccine to everyone over 12 by the autumn, offering as many people as possible the protection of vaccination rather than the gamble of infection.

    The argument that delaying now will only result in more infections later in the winter ignores three things: the protection millions more (including adolescents) can have from vaccination; the potential for vulnerable adults to receive booster shots in autumn; and, crucially, our ability to offset the additional infection risks of winter with public health measures

    Infectious diseases are a matter of collective, rather than personal, responsibility. As a society, we could choose to keep in place mask-wearing, some physical distancing and supported isolation of cases and contacts. We could choose to invest in ventilation in business and school buildings – a long-term public health benefit and a key mitigation against Covid. We could choose to suppress this virus over winter and protect our population and our NHS and so provide far more freedom to go about our daily lives. The current government position is that it’s not even going to try. This is not good enough and we have to demand better.

    (edited from an article by Christina pagel)

    35. According to the ONS, what % of people currently living with long covid are children?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The text says ‘1 million people, including 33,000 children’ so we need to do 33,000/ 1000000

    TOP TIP! Take great care with numbers, one million has six zeros – if you accidentally copy a number down wrong you are likely to pick the wrong answer option

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    There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before. At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

    The prime minister set out two main arguments in favour of further easing. The first is that well over 90% of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, greatly weakening the link between new infections and hospitalisations. The second is that it is better to have mass infection now rather than in the winter when the virus spreads more easily and the NHS is more stretched. I think both are wrong.

    First, while we are seeing far fewer hospitalisations than would be the case without a vaccine, hospital admissions are nonetheless rising exponentially. With two or three more doublings, we could be seeing more than 2,000 admissions a day by mid-August – a significant burden on a health service that is already under immense strain, with some hospitals having cancelled elective surgeries and delayed cancer treatment.

    The last thing the NHS needs as it tries to cope with its backlog of 5 million patients is a return to giving up wards and ICUs for Covid care. 

    Second, infections come with a high burden of long Covid. The Office for National Statistics estimates about 1 million people, including 33,000 children, currently live with long Covid in the UK, with 385,000 having symptoms for more than a year and over 600,000 saying it adversely impacts their daily life. With infections falling mainly on the unvaccinated young, we risk burdening a generation with long-term ill health. Both the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief executive of NHS Providers, Dr Chris Hopson, have expressed grave concerns over the prospect of hundreds of thousands more cases of long Covid over the coming months.

    Third, every new infection presents an opportunity for further mutations of the virus, and any that can better infect the vaccinated will have a large selection advantage. We have already seen the impact of the Delta variant over the past few months – do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?

    Fourth, opening further has been billed as “freedom day”, but for many it is anything but. Those living with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid fear a return to shielding indoors as they are no longer protected by low infection rates and measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. As even vaccinated people can and do transmit the virus, many of their friends and relatives too will restrict their activities to protect loved ones. For many, lifting the Covid rules will restrict rather than enable their freedom.

    Ultimately, all of this is unnecessary. We have safe and highly effective vaccines, approved for use in everyone over the age of 12. We have an excellent vaccination programme. Evidence suggests that immunity derived from vaccination is more robust than immunity from infection, particularly against new variants. We could offer two doses of vaccine to everyone over 12 by the autumn, offering as many people as possible the protection of vaccination rather than the gamble of infection.

    The argument that delaying now will only result in more infections later in the winter ignores three things: the protection millions more (including adolescents) can have from vaccination; the potential for vulnerable adults to receive booster shots in autumn; and, crucially, our ability to offset the additional infection risks of winter with public health measures

    Infectious diseases are a matter of collective, rather than personal, responsibility. As a society, we could choose to keep in place mask-wearing, some physical distancing and supported isolation of cases and contacts. We could choose to invest in ventilation in business and school buildings – a long-term public health benefit and a key mitigation against Covid. We could choose to suppress this virus over winter and protect our population and our NHS and so provide far more freedom to go about our daily lives. The current government position is that it’s not even going to try. This is not good enough and we have to demand better.

    (edited from an article by Christina pagel)

    36. Which of the following is the odd one out?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The answer is low infection rates. All of the other measures are designed to produce the outcome of lower infection rates/spread of disease, a) is provided the outcome of those measures itself

    QUESTION TIP! In ‘odd one out’ questions you should be able to write down and verbalize the factor that links the other answers

    Post Comment

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    There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before. At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

    The prime minister set out two main arguments in favour of further easing. The first is that well over 90% of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, greatly weakening the link between new infections and hospitalisations. The second is that it is better to have mass infection now rather than in the winter when the virus spreads more easily and the NHS is more stretched. I think both are wrong.

    First, while we are seeing far fewer hospitalisations than would be the case without a vaccine, hospital admissions are nonetheless rising exponentially. With two or three more doublings, we could be seeing more than 2,000 admissions a day by mid-August – a significant burden on a health service that is already under immense strain, with some hospitals having cancelled elective surgeries and delayed cancer treatment.

    The last thing the NHS needs as it tries to cope with its backlog of 5 million patients is a return to giving up wards and ICUs for Covid care. 

    Second, infections come with a high burden of long Covid. The Office for National Statistics estimates about 1 million people, including 33,000 children, currently live with long Covid in the UK, with 385,000 having symptoms for more than a year and over 600,000 saying it adversely impacts their daily life. With infections falling mainly on the unvaccinated young, we risk burdening a generation with long-term ill health. Both the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief executive of NHS Providers, Dr Chris Hopson, have expressed grave concerns over the prospect of hundreds of thousands more cases of long Covid over the coming months.

    Third, every new infection presents an opportunity for further mutations of the virus, and any that can better infect the vaccinated will have a large selection advantage. We have already seen the impact of the Delta variant over the past few months – do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?

    Fourth, opening further has been billed as “freedom day”, but for many it is anything but. Those living with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid fear a return to shielding indoors as they are no longer protected by low infection rates and measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. As even vaccinated people can and do transmit the virus, many of their friends and relatives too will restrict their activities to protect loved ones. For many, lifting the Covid rules will restrict rather than enable their freedom.

    Ultimately, all of this is unnecessary. We have safe and highly effective vaccines, approved for use in everyone over the age of 12. We have an excellent vaccination programme. Evidence suggests that immunity derived from vaccination is more robust than immunity from infection, particularly against new variants. We could offer two doses of vaccine to everyone over 12 by the autumn, offering as many people as possible the protection of vaccination rather than the gamble of infection.

    The argument that delaying now will only result in more infections later in the winter ignores three things: the protection millions more (including adolescents) can have from vaccination; the potential for vulnerable adults to receive booster shots in autumn; and, crucially, our ability to offset the additional infection risks of winter with public health measures

    Infectious diseases are a matter of collective, rather than personal, responsibility. As a society, we could choose to keep in place mask-wearing, some physical distancing and supported isolation of cases and contacts. We could choose to invest in ventilation in business and school buildings – a long-term public health benefit and a key mitigation against Covid. We could choose to suppress this virus over winter and protect our population and our NHS and so provide far more freedom to go about our daily lives. The current government position is that it’s not even going to try. This is not good enough and we have to demand better.

    (edited from an article by Christina pagel)

    37. What is the tone of the text?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The tone of the text is critical, the author uses evidence to set up her position which is that the recent government decision is wrong.

    Post Comment

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    There were almost 194,000 new cases of Covid-19 reported in England last week, which is 35% more than the week before. At the time of writing, 52% of the UK population had been fully vaccinated. Perhaps another 20% have some immunity from one dose of vaccine or previous Covid infection. If this level of population immunity was enough to contain the pandemic alongside public health measures, cases would be falling. They aren’t falling and it isn’t enough.

    The prime minister set out two main arguments in favour of further easing. The first is that well over 90% of the most at-risk people are fully vaccinated, greatly weakening the link between new infections and hospitalisations. The second is that it is better to have mass infection now rather than in the winter when the virus spreads more easily and the NHS is more stretched. I think both are wrong.

    First, while we are seeing far fewer hospitalisations than would be the case without a vaccine, hospital admissions are nonetheless rising exponentially. With two or three more doublings, we could be seeing more than 2,000 admissions a day by mid-August – a significant burden on a health service that is already under immense strain, with some hospitals having cancelled elective surgeries and delayed cancer treatment.

    The last thing the NHS needs as it tries to cope with its backlog of 5 million patients is a return to giving up wards and ICUs for Covid care. 

    Second, infections come with a high burden of long Covid. The Office for National Statistics estimates about 1 million people, including 33,000 children, currently live with long Covid in the UK, with 385,000 having symptoms for more than a year and over 600,000 saying it adversely impacts their daily life. With infections falling mainly on the unvaccinated young, we risk burdening a generation with long-term ill health. Both the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief executive of NHS Providers, Dr Chris Hopson, have expressed grave concerns over the prospect of hundreds of thousands more cases of long Covid over the coming months.

    Third, every new infection presents an opportunity for further mutations of the virus, and any that can better infect the vaccinated will have a large selection advantage. We have already seen the impact of the Delta variant over the past few months – do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?

    Fourth, opening further has been billed as “freedom day”, but for many it is anything but. Those living with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid fear a return to shielding indoors as they are no longer protected by low infection rates and measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. As even vaccinated people can and do transmit the virus, many of their friends and relatives too will restrict their activities to protect loved ones. For many, lifting the Covid rules will restrict rather than enable their freedom.

    Ultimately, all of this is unnecessary. We have safe and highly effective vaccines, approved for use in everyone over the age of 12. We have an excellent vaccination programme. Evidence suggests that immunity derived from vaccination is more robust than immunity from infection, particularly against new variants. We could offer two doses of vaccine to everyone over 12 by the autumn, offering as many people as possible the protection of vaccination rather than the gamble of infection.

    The argument that delaying now will only result in more infections later in the winter ignores three things: the protection millions more (including adolescents) can have from vaccination; the potential for vulnerable adults to receive booster shots in autumn; and, crucially, our ability to offset the additional infection risks of winter with public health measures

    Infectious diseases are a matter of collective, rather than personal, responsibility. As a society, we could choose to keep in place mask-wearing, some physical distancing and supported isolation of cases and contacts. We could choose to invest in ventilation in business and school buildings – a long-term public health benefit and a key mitigation against Covid. We could choose to suppress this virus over winter and protect our population and our NHS and so provide far more freedom to go about our daily lives. The current government position is that it’s not even going to try. This is not good enough and we have to demand better.

    (edited from an article by Christina pagel)

    38. When the author says ‘do we really want to work our way through the Greek alphabet?’ – what are they referring to?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    We can find the answer to this question a few lines above the line given in the question: “further mutations of the virus”

    QUESTION TIP! If a question explicitly refers to a line in the passage, do not answer until you have gone back and re-read the line and a few lines either side of it 

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    A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature

    I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it.

    A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.

    And the media? It’s talking about the dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the James Bond premiere, Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour and who got eliminated from the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars. The great debate of the week, dominating the news across much of the world? Sausages: are they really so bad for your health?

    What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. Fire is raging across the 5,000km length of Indonesia. It is surely, on any objective assessment, more important than anything else taking place today. And it shouldn’t require a columnist, writing in the middle of a newspaper, to say so. It should be on everyone’s front page. It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. And in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany.

    But that doesn’t really capture it. This catastrophe cannot be measured only in parts per million. The fires are destroying treasures as precious and irreplaceable as the archaeological remains being levelled by Isis. Orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, gibbons, the Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tiger, these are among the threatened species being driven from much of their range by the flames. But there are thousands, perhaps millions, more.

    One of the burning provinces is West Papua, a nation that has been illegally occupied by Indonesia since 1963. I spent six months there when I was 24, investigating some of the factors that have led to this disaster. At the time it was a wonderland, rich with endemic species in every swamp and valley. Who knows how many of those have vanished in the past few weeks? This week I have pored and wept over photos of places I loved that have now been reduced to ash.

    Nor do the greenhouse gas emissions capture the impact on the people of these lands. After the last great conflagration, in 1997, there was a missing cohort in Indonesia of 15,000 children under the age of three, attributed to air pollution. This, it seems, is worse. The surgical masks being distributed across the nation will do almost nothing to protect those living in a sunless smog. Members of parliament in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) have had to wear face masks during debates. The chamber is so foggy that they must have difficulty recognising one another.

    It’s not just the trees that are burning. It is the land itself. Much of the forest sits on great domes of peat. When the fires penetrate the earth, they smoulder for weeks, sometimes months, releasing clouds of methane, carbon monoxide, ozone and exotic gases such as ammonium cyanide. The plumes extend for hundreds of miles, causing diplomatic conflicts with neighbouring countries.

    Governments ignore issues when the media ignores them. And the media ignores them because … well, there’s a question with a thousand answers, many of which involve power. But one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a de-skilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

    At the climate summit in Paris in December the media, trapped within the intergovernmental bubble of abstract diplomacy and manufactured drama, will cover the negotiations almost without reference to what is happening elsewhere. The talks will be removed to a realm with which we have no moral contact. And, when the circus moves on, the silence will resume. Is there any other industry that serves its customers so badly?

    (Edited from a piece by George Monbiot for the Guardian)

    39. Which of the following is most likely to be the title of the piece?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    D captures the author’s main point, which is that the world (see references to the government and the media) are failing to give adequate attention to the problems in indonesia. The purpose of the passage is not merely factual, but, rather, to push for change and this is best captured by D.

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    A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature

    I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it.

    A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.

    And the media? It’s talking about the dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the James Bond premiere, Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour and who got eliminated from the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars. The great debate of the week, dominating the news across much of the world? Sausages: are they really so bad for your health?

    What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. Fire is raging across the 5,000km length of Indonesia. It is surely, on any objective assessment, more important than anything else taking place today. And it shouldn’t require a columnist, writing in the middle of a newspaper, to say so. It should be on everyone’s front page. It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. And in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany.

    But that doesn’t really capture it. This catastrophe cannot be measured only in parts per million. The fires are destroying treasures as precious and irreplaceable as the archaeological remains being levelled by Isis. Orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, gibbons, the Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tiger, these are among the threatened species being driven from much of their range by the flames. But there are thousands, perhaps millions, more.

    One of the burning provinces is West Papua, a nation that has been illegally occupied by Indonesia since 1963. I spent six months there when I was 24, investigating some of the factors that have led to this disaster. At the time it was a wonderland, rich with endemic species in every swamp and valley. Who knows how many of those have vanished in the past few weeks? This week I have pored and wept over photos of places I loved that have now been reduced to ash.

    Nor do the greenhouse gas emissions capture the impact on the people of these lands. After the last great conflagration, in 1997, there was a missing cohort in Indonesia of 15,000 children under the age of three, attributed to air pollution. This, it seems, is worse. The surgical masks being distributed across the nation will do almost nothing to protect those living in a sunless smog. Members of parliament in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) have had to wear face masks during debates. The chamber is so foggy that they must have difficulty recognising one another.

    It’s not just the trees that are burning. It is the land itself. Much of the forest sits on great domes of peat. When the fires penetrate the earth, they smoulder for weeks, sometimes months, releasing clouds of methane, carbon monoxide, ozone and exotic gases such as ammonium cyanide. The plumes extend for hundreds of miles, causing diplomatic conflicts with neighbouring countries.

    Governments ignore issues when the media ignores them. And the media ignores them because … well, there’s a question with a thousand answers, many of which involve power. But one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a de-skilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

    At the climate summit in Paris in December the media, trapped within the intergovernmental bubble of abstract diplomacy and manufactured drama, will cover the negotiations almost without reference to what is happening elsewhere. The talks will be removed to a realm with which we have no moral contact. And, when the circus moves on, the silence will resume. Is there any other industry that serves its customers so badly?

    (Edited from a piece by George Monbiot for the Guardian)

    40. What is the main tone of the text?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The tone of the text is critical, the author uses analysis and facts to make a serious point which is that we are not doing what we should be in response to Indonesia.

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    A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature

    I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it.

    A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.

    And the media? It’s talking about the dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the James Bond premiere, Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour and who got eliminated from the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars. The great debate of the week, dominating the news across much of the world? Sausages: are they really so bad for your health?

    What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. Fire is raging across the 5,000km length of Indonesia. It is surely, on any objective assessment, more important than anything else taking place today. And it shouldn’t require a columnist, writing in the middle of a newspaper, to say so. It should be on everyone’s front page. It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. And in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany.

    But that doesn’t really capture it. This catastrophe cannot be measured only in parts per million. The fires are destroying treasures as precious and irreplaceable as the archaeological remains being levelled by Isis. Orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, gibbons, the Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tiger, these are among the threatened species being driven from much of their range by the flames. But there are thousands, perhaps millions, more.

    One of the burning provinces is West Papua, a nation that has been illegally occupied by Indonesia since 1963. I spent six months there when I was 24, investigating some of the factors that have led to this disaster. At the time it was a wonderland, rich with endemic species in every swamp and valley. Who knows how many of those have vanished in the past few weeks? This week I have pored and wept over photos of places I loved that have now been reduced to ash.

    Nor do the greenhouse gas emissions capture the impact on the people of these lands. After the last great conflagration, in 1997, there was a missing cohort in Indonesia of 15,000 children under the age of three, attributed to air pollution. This, it seems, is worse. The surgical masks being distributed across the nation will do almost nothing to protect those living in a sunless smog. Members of parliament in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) have had to wear face masks during debates. The chamber is so foggy that they must have difficulty recognising one another.

    It’s not just the trees that are burning. It is the land itself. Much of the forest sits on great domes of peat. When the fires penetrate the earth, they smoulder for weeks, sometimes months, releasing clouds of methane, carbon monoxide, ozone and exotic gases such as ammonium cyanide. The plumes extend for hundreds of miles, causing diplomatic conflicts with neighbouring countries.

    Governments ignore issues when the media ignores them. And the media ignores them because … well, there’s a question with a thousand answers, many of which involve power. But one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a de-skilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

    At the climate summit in Paris in December the media, trapped within the intergovernmental bubble of abstract diplomacy and manufactured drama, will cover the negotiations almost without reference to what is happening elsewhere. The talks will be removed to a realm with which we have no moral contact. And, when the circus moves on, the silence will resume. Is there any other industry that serves its customers so badly?

    (Edited from a piece by George Monbiot for the Guardian)

    41. What is the meaning of the word ‘conflagration’?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The text gives us two clues about the word’s meaning. Firstly (After the last great conflagration) we know it is an event (hence an object not an adjective), and secondly we know it causes or lead to ‘air pollution’, hence our answer is A.

    TOP TIP! Don’t forget that ‘what is the meaning questions’ are not testing your vocabulary, it is always possible to use evidence and information in the text to decipher the correct answer.

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    A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature

    I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it.

    A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.

    And the media? It’s talking about the dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the James Bond premiere, Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour and who got eliminated from the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars. The great debate of the week, dominating the news across much of the world? Sausages: are they really so bad for your health?

    What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. Fire is raging across the 5,000km length of Indonesia. It is surely, on any objective assessment, more important than anything else taking place today. And it shouldn’t require a columnist, writing in the middle of a newspaper, to say so. It should be on everyone’s front page. It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. And in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany.

    But that doesn’t really capture it. This catastrophe cannot be measured only in parts per million. The fires are destroying treasures as precious and irreplaceable as the archaeological remains being levelled by Isis. Orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, gibbons, the Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tiger, these are among the threatened species being driven from much of their range by the flames. But there are thousands, perhaps millions, more.

    One of the burning provinces is West Papua, a nation that has been illegally occupied by Indonesia since 1963. I spent six months there when I was 24, investigating some of the factors that have led to this disaster. At the time it was a wonderland, rich with endemic species in every swamp and valley. Who knows how many of those have vanished in the past few weeks? This week I have pored and wept over photos of places I loved that have now been reduced to ash.

    Nor do the greenhouse gas emissions capture the impact on the people of these lands. After the last great conflagration, in 1997, there was a missing cohort in Indonesia of 15,000 children under the age of three, attributed to air pollution. This, it seems, is worse. The surgical masks being distributed across the nation will do almost nothing to protect those living in a sunless smog. Members of parliament in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) have had to wear face masks during debates. The chamber is so foggy that they must have difficulty recognising one another.

    It’s not just the trees that are burning. It is the land itself. Much of the forest sits on great domes of peat. When the fires penetrate the earth, they smoulder for weeks, sometimes months, releasing clouds of methane, carbon monoxide, ozone and exotic gases such as ammonium cyanide. The plumes extend for hundreds of miles, causing diplomatic conflicts with neighbouring countries.

    Governments ignore issues when the media ignores them. And the media ignores them because … well, there’s a question with a thousand answers, many of which involve power. But one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a de-skilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

    At the climate summit in Paris in December the media, trapped within the intergovernmental bubble of abstract diplomacy and manufactured drama, will cover the negotiations almost without reference to what is happening elsewhere. The talks will be removed to a realm with which we have no moral contact. And, when the circus moves on, the silence will resume. Is there any other industry that serves its customers so badly?

    (Edited from a piece by George Monbiot for the Guardian)

    42. The author’s point in the fourth paragraph is …
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The authors point in this paragraph is that the media is wrongly focussing on trivial and unimportant matters instead of focussing on big important issues like the crisis in Indonesia.

    a. Correct

    b. This is not the fourth paragraph

    c. Incorrect

    d. This is too extreme

    e. Incorrect

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