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Food and Cancer【食物和癌症】 Medical experts have suspected for many years that there is a strong link between what a person eats and cancer. They say a new study provides the first evidence that v

itamins could reduce a person’s chance of developing cancer. A team of Chinese and American scientists did the study. They are from American National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of the study. About thirty thousand people between the ages of 40 to 69 took part in the study. They were from the northern central Chinese area of Linxian. Most of them took vitamins and minerals every day for five years. Linxian was chosen because the people there have an extremely high rate of cancer of stomach and esophagus. Researchers believe that fungus and molds in local foods may be partly responsible for the high cancer rate. Researchers divided those into eight groups. Seven of the groups received different mixtures of vitamins and minerals daily. The amounts of the vitamins and minerals were 1 to 2 times greater than what American health officials say is

needed. The eighth group received sugar pills that had no effect. Those who seemed to gain the most received a mixture of a form of vitamin A called β-carotene, vitamin E and the mineral selenium. The vitamin and mineral are believed to prevent damage to cells caused by cancer-causing substances. Researchers reported a 13 percent drop in cancer rates in those who took β-carotene, vitamin E and selenium. They also found a 10 percent drop in the number of deaths caused by strokes from bursting blood vessels. Scientists warn that it is too soon to know if the effect would be the same among people in other countries. They note that the people in Linxian eat foods that lack necessary vitamins and minerals. Chinese officials will continue to record the health records of the people in Linxian for many years. For now officials reportedly are considering using the results of the study. They want to find a way to improve the health of people in Linxian and other small towns in China. 练习: 1. The results of the new study are unexpected. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2. Among the scientists that did the study, there are more Chinese than Americans.

A. Right

B. Wrong

C. Not mentioned

3. The study lasted for about five years. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4. The rate of cancer of stomach and esophagus in Linxian is the highest in China. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5. Fungus and molds in local foods may be partly responsible for the high cancer rate in Linxian. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

6. All those people who took part in the study received vitamins and minerals. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7. The results of the study are of great significance to people everywhere. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

Smoking【 抽烟】 Since 1939, numerous studies have been conducted to determine whether smoking is a health hazard. The trend of the evidence has been consistent and indicates that there is a serious health risk. Research teams have conducted studies that show beyond all reasonable doubt that tobacco smoking is associated with a shortened life expectancy.

Cigarette smoking is believed by most research workers in this filed to be an important factor in the development of cancer of the lungs and cancer of the throat and is believed by most research workers in this filed to be an important factor in the development of cancer of the lungs and cancer of the throat and is believed to be related to cancer of some other organs of the body. Male cigarette smokers have a higher death rate from heart disease than non-smoking males. Female smokers are thought to be less affected because they do not breathe in the smoke so deeply. Apart from statistics, it might be helpful to look at what smoking tobacco does to the human body. Smoke is a mixture of gases, vaporized chemicals, minute particles of ash and other solids. There is also nicotine, which is powerful poison, and black tar. As smoke is breathed in, all those components form deposits on the membranes of the lungs. One point of concentration is where the air tube and bronchus divides. Most lung cancer begins at this point. Filters and low tar tobacco are claimed to make smoking to some extent safer, but they can only slightly reduce, not eliminate the hazards. 练习

1. It is easy to determine whether smoking is hazardous. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2. Smoking reduces one’s life expectancy. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

3. Smoking may induce lung cancer. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4. There is evidence that smoking is responsible for breast cancer. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5. Male smokers have a lower death rate from heart disease than female smokers. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

6. Nicotine is poisonous. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7. Filters and low tar tobacco make smoking safe. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

Engineering Ethics【 工程道德】 Engineering ethics is attracting increasing interest in engineering universities throughout the nation, at Texas A&M University, evidence of this interest in professional ethics culminated in the creation of a new course in

engineering ethics, as well as a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop material for introducing ethical issues into required undergraduate engineering courses. A small group of faculty and administrators actively supported the growing effort at Texas A&M, yet this group must now expand to meet the needs of increasing numbers of students wishing to learn more about the value implications of their actions as professional engineers. The increasing concern for the value dimension of engineering is, at least in part, a result of the attention that the media has given to cases such as the Challenger disaster, the Kansas City Hyatt-Regency Hotel walkways collapse, and the Exxon oil spill. As a response to this concern, a new discipline, engineering ethics, is emerging. This discipline will doubtless take its place alongside such well-established fields as medical ethics, business ethics, and legal ethics. The problem presented by this development is that most engineering professors are not prepared to introduce literature in engineering ethics into their classrooms. They are most comfortable with quantitative concepts and often do not believe they are qualified to lead class discussions on

ethics. Many engineering faculty members do not think that they have the time in an already overcrowded syllabus to introduce discussions on professional ethics, or the time in their own schedules to prepare the necessary material. Hopefully, the resources presented herein will be of assistance. 练习: 1.Engineering ethics a compulsory in every institute of science and technology in the United States. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2.The number of students wishing to take the course of engineering ethics is declining at Texas A & M University. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

3.The National Science Foundation involves itself directly in writing up material about ethical issues. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4.It seems that medical ethics and business ethics are more mature than engineering ethics. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5.Several engineering professors have quit from teaching to protest against the creation of a few course in engineering ethics.

A. Right

B. Wrong

C. Not mentioned

6.Many engineering professors may not have time to prepare material for class discussion on professional ethics. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7.It is likely that following this introductory passage, the author will provide the necessary material related to the topic of engineering ethics. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

Easy Learning【容易的学习】 Students should be jealous. Not only do babies get to doze their days away, but they’ve also mastered the fine art of learning in their sleep. By the time babies are a year old they can recognize a lot of sounds and even simple words. Marie Cheour at the University of Turku in Finland suspected that they might progress this fast because they learn language while they sleep as well as when they are awake. To test the theory, Cheour and her colleagues studied 45 newborn babies in the first few days of their lives. They exposed all the infants to an hour of Finnish vowel sounds—one that sounds like “oo”, another like “ee” and a third boundary vowel peculiar to Finnish and similar

languages that sounds like something in between. EEG recordings of the infant’s brains before and after the session showed that the newborns could not distinguish the sounds. Fifteen of the babies then went back with their mothers, while the rest were split into two sleep-study groups. One group was exposed throughout their night-time sleeping hours to the same three vowels, while the others listened to other, easier-to-distinguish vowel sounds. When tested in the morning, and again in the evening, the babies who’d heard the tricky boundary vowel all night showed brainwave activity indicating that they could now recognise this new sound. They could identify the sound even when its pitch was changed, while none of the other babies could pick up the boundary vowel at all. Cheour doesn’t know how babies accomplish this night-time learning, bunt she suspects that the special ability might indicate that unlike adults, babies don’t “turn off” their cerebral cortex while they sleep. The skill probably fades in the course of the first year of life, she adds—so forget the idea that you can pick up tricky French vowels as an adult just by slipping a language tape under your pillow. But while it may not help grown-ups, Cheour is hoping to use the

sleeping hours to give remedial help to babies who are genetically at risk of language disorders. 练习: 1. Babies can learn language even in their sleep. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2. An infant can recognize a lot of vowels by the time he or she is a year old. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

3. Finnish vowels are easy to distinguish. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4. The three vowels mentioned in this article are all Finnish sounds. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5. The study shows that the infant’s cerebral cortex is working while he is asleep. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

6. If an adult wants to learn a language faster, he can put a language tape under his pillow. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7. Cheour’s finding is worthless. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

A Dog’s Dilemma 【狗的两难境地】 Finding a babysitter while you go out to work is, for example, an inconvenience. For the African wild dog, one of the continents’s most endangered carnivores, it’s a matter of life and death. New research shows that once packs fall below a certain size, they are not enough animals to both hunt food and stay at home protecting the young. The African wild dog has declined drastically over the past century. Habitual loss, persecution and unexplained outbreaks of disease have all been blamed. Only 3,000 to 5,000 animals remain, and the species is expected to go extinct within decades if the trend continues. Other large carnivores such as the spotted hyena face similar pressures, yet are not declining. Now Franck Courchamp of Cambridge University has found a reason why. The dog’s weakness lies in its social organization. Within each pack of up to 20 adults and pups, only he dominant male and female bread. The remaining animals help raise the pups, cooperating to hunt prey and defend the kill from other carnivores. Because pups can’t keep up on a hunt, large packs leave an adult behind to protect them from predators, which include

lions and hyenas. But leaving a babysitter also carries costs. A smaller hunting party is less able to tackle large prey and to defend the kill. There is also one less stomach in which to carry food back to the den, and one more mouth to feed when they get there. Courchamp investigated this awkward trade-off by modeling how the costs of a babysitter change with decreasing pack size. This showed that packs of more than five adults should be able to feed all the pups and still spare a babysitter. But with smaller packs, either the hunting or the babysitting suffers, or the animals have to compensate by increasing he number of hunting excursions—which itself carries a cost to the pack. Field observations in Zimbabwe supported the model. Packs of five animals or fewer left pups unguarded more frequently than larger packs did. There was also evidence that when they did leave a babysitter, they were forced to hunt more often. A pack which drops below a critical size becomes caught in a vicious circle, says Courchamp, who is now at Paris-Sud University. “Poor reproduction and low survival further reduces pack size, culminating in failure of the whole pack.”

And deaths caused by human activity, says Courchamp, may be what reduces pack numbers to below the sustainable threshold. Mammal ecologist Chris Carbone at London’s Institute of Zoology agrees. Maintaining the integrity of wild dog packs will be vital in preserving the species, he says. 练习 1.The African wild dog has been endangered. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2. The spotted hyena is on the verge of extinction. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

3. The remaining lions will die out within decades. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4. The dominant female is always left behind to protect the young. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5. There is a tension between babysitting and hunting. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

6. The size of a pack must be big enough for it to survive. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7. Steps will be taken to protect the African wild dog. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

El Nino【厄尔尼诺】 While some forecasting methods had limited success predicting the 1997 El Nino a few months in advance, the Columbia University researchers say their method can predict large El Nino events up to two years in advance. That would be good news for governments, farmers and others seeking to plan for the droughts and heavy rainfall that El Nino can produce in various parts of the world. Using a computer, the researchers matched sea-surface temperatures to later El Nino occurrences between 1980 and 2000 and were then able to anticipate El Nino events dating back to 1857, using prior sea-surface temperatures. The results were reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature. The researchers say their method is not perfect, but Bryan C. Weare. a meteorologist at the University of California. Davis, who was not involved in the work, said it “suggests EL Nino is indeed predictable.” “This will probably convince others to search around more for even better methods,” said Weare. He added that the new method “makes it possible to predict El Nino at long lead times.” Other models also use sea-surface temperatures, but

they have not looked as far back because they need other data, which is only available for recent decades, Weare said. The ability to predict the warming and cooling of the Pacific is of immense importance. The 1997 El Nino, for example, caused an estimated $20 billion in damage worldwide, offset by beneficial effects in other areas, said David Anderson, of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, England. The 1887 El Nino, meanwhile, coincided with a failure of the Indian monsoon and a famine that killed perhaps 40 million in India and China, prompting the development of seasonal forecasting. Anderson said. When El Nino hit in 1991 and 1997, 200 million people were affected by flooding in China alone, according to a 2002 United Nations report. While predicting smaller El Nino events remains tricky, the ability to predict larger ones should be increased to at least a year if the new method is confirmed. El Nino tends to develop between April and June and reaches its peak between December and years. The new forecasting method does not predict any major El Nino events in the next two years, although a weak warming toward the end of this year is possible.

练习: 1. The method used by the Columbia University researchers can predict El Nino a few months in advance. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

2. The Columbia University researchers studied the relationship between the past El Nino occurrences and sea-surface temperatures. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

3. The Columbia University researchers are the first to use sea-surface temperatures to match the past El Nino occurrences. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

4. Weare’s contribution in predicting El Nino, was highly praised by other meteorologists. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

5. According to a Chinese report, the flooding in China caused by El Nino in 1991 and 1997 affected 200 million Chinese people. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

6. It takes about eight months for El Nino to reach its peak. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

7. A special institute has been set up in America to study El

Nino. A. right B. wrong C. Not mentioned

Center Launched to Fight Diseases 【成立中心,抗击疾病】 A national disease prevention and control center has just been established to enhance efforts to fight diseases. The center will focus on conducting investigations, research and supervision of various diseases, and public health problems, and suggesting corresponding prevention and control measures, officials of the Ministry of Health said Wednesday. The center will also provide a scientific basis for the ministry to make health policies, laws and regulations. China’s present epidemic and disease prevention system has lagged behind the development of various diseases and public health problems brought by industrialization and aging of the population, the officials said. The ministry has several separate disease prevention and control centers, such as the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control, but it is hard for them to pool efforts and to cover all fields. Many difficulties in improving the country’s health were a result of the shortage of advanced technology in preventive medicine adequate epidemic supervision and effective health education.

Now, AIDS, TB and other infectious diseases pose serious threats to public heath, while more and more people continue to die from non-infectious diseases. Experts estimate that China now has 600,000 HIV/AIDS victims, and the number is increasing by 30 per cent annually. However, there is still no effective prevention and control system to fight the deadly disease. Meanwhile, people lack knowledge of the cause, spread and development of epidemic, vermin-caused, occupational diseases and many other non-infectious diseases. This makes control work more difficult. Official figures show that 90 per cent of total deaths are caused by chronic and non-infectious diseases, such as tumors and blood diseases of the heart and brain. At the same time, China is becoming an “aging society”, which 10 per cent of its population over 60. This will also bring many public health problems which will need effective supervision and study. The establishment of the center is expected to play a leading role in disease supervision, the officials said. The center will also cover the hygienic supervision of food, workplaces, schools and other public places. Prevention and control

programs against various diseases will be created by the center, which also will be in charge of evaluating the development of the programs. All nations’ vaccination programs will be done by the center and its branches, and all the biological products for prevention will be under the control and management of the center. More health education and improvement work will be done by the center in field of diseases prevention. 练习: 1. The main task of the center is to draw up documents in health policies, laws and regulations for the Ministry of Health. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

2. According to the passage, the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control has been attached to the center. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

3. Lack of sophisticated techniques prevention and control to a large extent affects the improvement of the people’s health. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

4. According to an estimation, the number of HIV/AIDS sufferers is increasing by nearly a third every year. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

5. The death rate of patients with infectious disease is declining year after year. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

6. Nowadays there are about 130 million people aged more than sixty in China. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

7. By the time the report was published, the center had worked out a set of practicable disease prevention and control programs. A. Right B. Wrong C. Not mentioned

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