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Selling Digital Music without Copy-protection Makes Sense

A. It was uncharacteristically low-key for the industry’s greatest showman. But the essay published this week by Steve Jobs, the boss of Apple, on his firm’s website under the unassuming title “Thoughts on Music” has nonetheless provoked a vigorous debate about the future of digital music, which Apple dominates with its iPod music-player and iTunes music-store. At issue is “digital rights management” (DRM)—the technology guarding downloaded music against theft. Since there is no common standard for DRM, it also has the side-effect that songs purchased for one type of music-player may not work on another. Apple’s DRM system, called FairPlay, is the most widespread. So it came as a surprise when Mr. Jobs called for DRM for digital music to be abolished.

B. This is a change of tack for Apple. It has come under fire from European regulators who claim that its refusal to license FairPlay to other firms has “locked in” customers. Since music from the iTunes store cannot be played on non-iPod music-players (at least not without a lot of fiddling), any iTunes buyer will be deterred from switching to a device made by a rival firm, such as Sony or Microsoft. When French lawmakers drafted a bill last year compelling Apple to open up FairPlay to rivals, the company warned of “state-sponsored piracy”. Only DRM, it implied, could keep the pirates at bay.

C. This week Mr. Jobs gave another explanation for his former defence of DRM: the record companies made him do it. They would make their music available to the iTunes store only if Apple agreed to protect it using DRM. They can still withdraw their catalogues if the DRM system is compromised. Apple cannot license FairPlay to others, says Mr Jobs, because it would depend on them to produce security fixes promptly. All DRM does is restrict consumer choice and provide a barrier to entry, says Mr Jobs; without it there would be far more stores and players, and far more innovation. So, he suggests, why not do away with DRM and sell music unprotected? “This is clearly the best alternative for consumers,” he declares, “and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.”

D. Why the sudden change of heart? Mr Jobs seems chiefly concerned with getting Europe’s regulators off his back. Rather than complaining to Apple about its use of DRM, he suggests, “those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free.” Two and a half of the four big record companies, he helpfully points out, are European-owned. Mr Jobs also hopes to paint himself as a consumer champion. Apple resents accusations that it has become the Microsoft of digital music.

E. Apple can afford to embrace open competition in music players and online stores. Consumers would gravitate to the best player and the best store, and at the moment that still means Apple’s. Mr Jobs is evidently unfazed by rivals to the iPod. Since only 3% of the music in a typical iTunes library is protected, most of it can already be used on other players today, he notes. (And even the protected tracks can be burned onto a CD and then re-ripped.) So Apple’s dominance evidently depends far more on branding and ease of use than DRM-related “lock in”.

F. The music giants are trying DRM-free downloads. Lots of smaller labels already sell music that way. Having seen which way the wind is blowing, Mr Jobs now wants to be seen not as DRM’s defender, but as a consumer champion who helped in its downfall. Wouldn’t it lead to a surge in piracy? No, because most music is still sold unprotected on CDs, people wishing to steal music already can do so. Indeed, scrapping DRM would probably increase online-music sales by reducing confusion and incompatibility. With the leading online store, Apple would benefit most. Mr Jobs’s argument, in short, is transparently self-serving. It also happens to be right.

Notes to Reading Passage 1

1. low-key:


2. showman:

开展览会的人, 出风头的人物

3. unassuming:

谦逊的, 不夸耀的, 不装腔作势的

4. iPod:


5. iTunes store:


6. get off person’s back:


7. gravitate:


8. unfazed:


Questions 1-7

Do the following statemets reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?

Write your answer in Boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

TRUE if the statement reflets the claims of the writer

FALSE if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossbile to say what the writer thinks about this

1. Apple enjoys a controlling position in digital music market with its iPod music-player and iTunes music-store.

2. DRM is a government decree issued with a purpose to protect downloaded music from theft by consumers.

3. Lack of standardization in DRM makes songs bought for one kind of music player may not function on another.

4. Apple has been criticized by European regulators since it has refused to grant a license FairPlay to other firms.

5. All music can be easily played on non-iPod music devices from Sony or Microsoft without too much fiddling.

6. Apple depends far more on DRM rather than branding for its dominance of the digital music devices.

7. If DRM was cancelled, Sony would certainly dominate the international digital music market.

Questions 8-10

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 8-10 on your answe sheet.

8. Which of the following statements about Mr. Jobs’ idea of DRM is NOT TRUE?

A. DRM places restrictions on consumer’ choice of digital music products available.

B. DRM comples iTunes buyers to switch to a device made by Sony or Microsoft.

C. DRM constitutes a barrier for potential consumers to enter digital music markets.

D. DRM hinders development of more stores and players and technical innovation.

9. The word “unfazed” in line 3 of paragraph E, means___________.

A. refused

B. welcomed

C. not bothered

D. not well received

10. Which of the following statements is TRUE if DRM was scapped?

A. Sony would gain the most profit.

B. More customers would be “locked in”.

C. A sudden increase in piracy would occur.

D. Online-music sales would probably decrease.

Questions 11-14

Complete the notes below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from Reading Passage 1 for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.

Mr. Steve Jobs, the boss of Apple, explains the reason why he used to defend DRM, saying that the company was forced to do so: the record companies would make their music accessible to …11...only if they agreed to protect it using DRM; they can still…12…if the DRM system is compromised. He also provides the reason why Apple did not license FairPlay to others: the company relies on them to …13….But now he changes his mind with a possible expectation that Europe’s regulators would not trouble him any more in the future. He proposes that those who are unsatisfactory with the current situation in digital music market should …14… towards persuade the music companies to sell their music DRM-free.




new weapon to fight cancer

1. British scientists are preparing to launch trials of a radical new way to fight cancer, which kills tumours by infecting them with viruses like the common cold.

2. If successful, virus therapy could eventually form a third pillar alongside radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the standard arsenal against cancer, while avoiding some of the debilitating side-effects.

3. Leonard Seymour, a professor of gene therapy at Oxford University, who has been working on the virus therapy with colleagues in London and the US, will lead the trials later this year. Cancer Research UK said yesterday that it was excited by the potential of Prof Seymour’s pioneering techniques.

4. One of the country’s leading geneticists, Prof Seymour has been working with viruses that kill cancer cells directly, while avoiding harm to healthy tissue. "In principle, you’ve got something which could be many times more effective than regular chemotherapy," he said.

5. Cancer-killing viruses exploit the fact that cancer cells suppress the body’s local immune system. "If a cancer doesn’t do that, the immune system wipes it out. If you can get a virus into a tumour, viruses find them a very good place to be because there’s no immune system to stop them replicating. You can regard it as the cancer’s Achilles’ heel."

6. Only a small amount of the virus needs to get to the cancer. "They replicate, you get a million copies in each cell and the cell bursts and they infect the tumour cells adjacent and repeat the process," said Prof Seymour.

7. Preliminary research on mice shows that the viruses work well on tumours resistant to standard cancer drugs. "It’s an interesting possibility that they may have an advantage in killing drug-resistant tumours, which could be quite different to anything we’ve had before."

8. Researchers have known for some time that viruses can kill tumour cells and some aspects of the work have already been published in scientific journals. American scientists have previously injected viruses directly into tumours but this technique will not work if the cancer is inaccessible or has spread throughout the body.

9. Prof Seymour’s innovative solution is to mask the virus from the body’s immune system, effectively allowing the viruses to do what chemotherapy drugs do - spread through the blood and reach tumours wherever they are. The big hurdle has always been to find a way to deliver viruses to tumours via the bloodstream without the body’s immune system destroying them on the way.

10. "What we’ve done is make chemical modifications to the virus to put a polymer coat around it - it’s a stealth virus when you inject it," he said.

11. After the stealth virus infects the tumour, it replicates, but the copies do not have the chemical modifications. If they escape from the tumour, the copies will be quickly recognised and mopped up by the body’s immune system.

12. The therapy would be especially useful for secondary cancers, called metastases, which sometimes spread around the body after the first tumour appears. "There’s an awful statistic of patients in the west ... with malignant cancers; 75% of them go on to die from metastases," said Prof Seymour.

13. Two viruses are likely to be examined in the first clinical trials: adenovirus, which normally causes a cold-like illness, and vaccinia, which causes cowpox and is also used in the vaccine against smallpox. For safety reasons, both will be disabled to make them less pathogenic in the trial, but Prof Seymour said he eventually hopes to use natural viruses.

14. The first trials will use uncoated adenovirus and vaccinia and will be delivered locally to liver tumours, in order to establish whether the treatment is safe in humans and what dose of virus will be needed. Several more years of trials will be needed, eventually also on the polymer-coated viruses, before the therapy can be considered for use in the NHS. Though the approach will be examined at first for cancers that do not respond to conventional treatments, Prof Seymour hopes that one day it might be applied to all cancers.

Questions 1-6

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? For questions 1-6 write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage

1.Virus therapy, if successful, has an advantage in eliminating side-effects.

2.Cancer Research UK is quite hopeful about Professor Seymour’s work on the virus therapy.

3.Virus can kill cancer cells and stop them from growing again.

4.Cancer’s Achilles’ heel refers to the fact that virus may stay safely in a tumor and replicate.

5.To infect the cancer cells, a good deal of viruses should be injected into the tumor.

6.Researches on animals indicate that virus could be used as a new way to treat drug-resistant tumors.

Question 7-9

Based on the reading passage, choose the appropriate letter from A-D for each answer.

7.Information about researches on viruses killing tumor cells can be found

(A) on TV

(B) in magazines

(C) on internet

(D) in newspapers

8.To treat tumors spreading out in body, researchers try to

(A) change the body’ immune system

(B) inject chemotherapy drugs into bloodstream.

(C) increase the amount of injection

(D) disguise the viruses on the way to tumors.

9.When the chemical modified virus in tumor replicates, the copies

(A) will soon escape from the tumor and spread out.

(B) will be wiped out by the body’s immune system.

(C) will be immediately recognized by the researchers.

(D) will eventually stop the tumor from spreading out.

Questions 10-13

Complete the sentences below. Choose your answers from the list of words. You can only use each word once.

NB There are more words in the list than spaces so you will not use them all.

In the first clinical trials, scientists will try to ……10…… adenovirus and vaccinia, so both the viruses will be less pathogenic than the ……11…….These uncoated viruses will be applied directly to certain areas to confirm safety on human beings and the right ……12…… needed. The experiments will firstly be ……13……to the treatment of certain cancers




How a Frenchman is reviving McDonald’s in Europe

A. When Denis Hennequin took over as the European boss of McDonald’s in January 2004, the world’s biggest restaurant chain was showing signs of recovery in America and Australia, but sales in Europe were sluggish or declining. One exception was France, where Mr Hennequin had done a sterling job as head of the group’s French subsidiary to sell more Big Macs to his compatriots. His task was to replicate this success in all 41 of the European countries where anti-globalisers’ favourite enemy operates.

B. So far Mr Hennequin is doing well. Last year European sales increased by 5.8% and the number of customers by 3.4%, the best annual results in nearly 15 years. Europe accounted for 36% of the group’s profits and for 28% of its sales. December was an especially good month as customers took to seasonal menu offerings in France and Britain, and to a promotion in Germany based on the game of Monopoly.

C. Mr Hennequin’s recipe for revival is to be more open about his company’s operations, to be “locally relevant”, and to improve the experience of visiting his 6,400 restaurants. McDonald’s is blamed for making people fat, exploiting workers, treating animals cruelly, polluting the environment and simply for being American. Mr Hennequin says he wants to engage in a dialogue with the public to address these concerns.

D. He introduced “open door” visitor days in each country which became hugely popular. In Poland alone some 50,000 visitors came to McDonald’s through the visitors’ programme last year. The Nutrition Information Initiative, launched last year, put detailed labels on McDonald’s packaging with data on calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and salt content. The details are also printed on tray-liners.

E. Mr Hennequin also wants people to know that “McJobs”, the low-paid menial jobs at McDonald’s restaurants, are much better than people think. But some of his efforts have backfired: last year he sparked a controversy with the introduction of a “McPassport” that allows McDonald’s employees to work anywhere in the European Union. Politicians accused the firm of a ploy to make cheap labour from eastern Europe more easily available to McDonald’s managers across the continent.

F. To stay in touch with local needs and preferences, McDonald’s employs local bosses as much as possible. A Russian is running McDonald’s in Russia, though a Serb is in charge of Germany. The group buys mainly from local suppliers. Four-fifths of its supplies in France come from local farmers, for example. (Some of the French farmers who campaigned against the company in the late 1990s subsequently discovered that it was, in fact, buying their produce.) And it hires celebrities such as Heidi Klum, a German model, as local brand ambassadors.

G. In his previous job Mr Hennequin established a “design studio” in France to spruce up his company’s drab restaurants and adapt the interior to local tastes. The studio is now masterminding improvements everywhere in Europe. He also set up a “food studio”, where cooks devise new recipes in response to local trends.

H. Given France’s reputation as the most anti-American country in Europe, it seems odd that McDonald’s revival in Europe is being led by a Frenchman, using ideas cooked up in the French market. But France is in fact the company’s most profitable market after America. The market where McDonald’s is weakest in Europe is not France, but Britain.

I. “Fixing Britain should be his priority,” says David Palmer, a restaurant analyst at UBS. Almost two-thirds of the 1,214 McDonald’s restaurants in Britain are company-owned, compared with 40% in Europe and 15% in America. The company suffers from the volatility of sales at its own restaurants, but can rely on steady income from franchisees. So it should sell as many underperforming outlets as possible, says Mr Palmer.

J. M.Mark Wiltamuth, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, estimates that European company-owned restaurants’ margins will increase slightly to 16.4% in 2007. This is still less than in the late 1990s and below America’s 18-19% today. But it is much better than before Mr Hennequin’s reign. He is already being tipped as the first European candidate for the group’s top job in Illinois. Nobody would call that a McJob.

Notes to Reading Passage 1


e.g. He has many sterling qualities. 他身上有许多优秀的品质。

2. menial 不体面的, 乏味的(工作、职业)

3. spruce up打扮整齐、漂亮、装饰

4. mastermind指挥、谋划(一个计划或活动)

e.g. The police know who masterminded the robbery.警察知道是谁策划了那次抢劫。

5. underperform表现不佳表现出低于标准的工作水平、企业出现亏本

Questions 1-6

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?

Write your answer in Boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

TRUE if the statement reflects the claims of the writer

FALSE if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

1. McDonald was showing the sign of recovery in all European countries except France after Denis Hennequin took office as the boss of Euro-markets.

2. Starting from last year, detailed labels are put on McDonald’s packaging and detailed information is also printed on tray-liners.

3. France is said to be the most anti-American country in Europe, but the ideas of the “open door” visiting days and “McPassport” are invented in the French market.

4. Britain possesses the weakest McDonald market among European countries and approximately 1214 McDonald’s restaurants are company-owned.

5. According to David Palmer, a restaurant analyst at UBS, David Hennequin should treat the problem about McDonald in Britain as the most important thing.

6. David Palmer suggested that the management of McDonalod in Italy should sell as many its outlets which lose money in business as possible for revival.

Questions 7-10

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 7-10 on your answe sheet.

7. The word “sterling” in line 3 of Paragraph A means__________.

A. difficult

B. menial

C. terrible

D. excellent

8. Which of the following statements on the accusation of MacDonald is NOT TRUE?

A. It tends to make people fat.

B. Its operations are very vague.

C. It tends to exploit workers.

D. It tends to treat animals cruelly.

9. Which of the following measures taken by Denis Hennequin produced undesired result?

A. “Food Studio” scheme.

B. “Open Door” visitor days.

C. The “McPassport” scheme.

D. The Nutrition Information Initiative.

10. What did Denis Hennequin do so as to respond to local trends?

A. set up a “Food Studio” .

B. established a “Design Studio”.

C. hired celebrities as local brand ambassadors.

D. employed local bosses as much as possible.

Questions 11-14

Complete each of the following statements (Questions 11-14) with words or number taken from Reading Passage 1.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.

11. After January 2004, McDonald was making improvement following a period of slump in America and Australia, but sales in Europe were ………………………….

12. Business of McDonald in France and Britain was particularly good in December since customers took to ……………………………..

13. Compared with other countries, France is McDonald’s ………………………. next to America.

14. ……………………. of McDonald’s restaurants in America are companied–owned and the figure is much lower than that in Britain.




1 There's a dimmer switch inside the sun that causes its brightness to rise and fall on timescales of around 100,000 years - exactly the same period as between ice ages on Earth. So says a physicist who has created a computer model of our star's core.

2 Robert Ehrlich of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, modelled the effect of temperature fluctuations in the sun's interior. According to the standard view, the temperature of the sun's core is held constant by the opposing pressures of gravity and nuclear fusion. However, Ehrlich believed that slight variations should be possible.

3 He took as his starting point the work of Attila Grandpierre of the Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2005, Grandpierre and a collaborator, Gábor ágoston, calculated that magnetic fields in the sun's core could produce small instabilities in the solar plasma. These instabilities would induce localised oscillations in temperature.

4 Ehrlich's model shows that whilst most of these oscillations cancel each other out, some reinforce one another and become long-lived temperature variations. The favoured frequencies allow the sun's core temperature to oscillate around its average temperature of 13.6 million kelvin in cycles lasting either 100,000 or 41,000 years. Ehrlich says that random interactions within the sun's magnetic field could flip the fluctuations from one cycle length to the other.

5 These two timescales are instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with Earth's ice ages: for the past million years, ice ages have occurred roughly every 100,000 years. Before that, they occurred roughly every 41,000 years.

6 Most scientists believe that the ice ages are the result of subtle changes in Earth's orbit, known as the Milankovitch cycles. One such cycle describes the way Earth's orbit gradually changes shape from a circle to a slight ellipse and back again roughly every 100,000 years. The theory says this alters the amount of solar radiation that Earth receives, triggering the ice ages. However, a persistent problem with this theory has been its inability to explain why the ice ages changed frequency a million years ago.

7 "In Milankovitch, there is certainly no good idea why the frequency should change from one to another," says Neil Edwards, a climatologist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. Nor is the transition problem the only one the Milankovitch theory faces. Ehrlich and other critics claim that the temperature variations caused by Milankovitch cycles are simply not big enough to drive ice ages.

8 However, Edwards believes the small changes in solar heating produced by Milankovitch cycles are then amplified by feedback mechanisms on Earth. For example, if sea ice begins to form because of a slight cooling, carbon dioxide that would otherwise have found its way into the atmosphere as part of the carbon cycle is locked into the ice. That weakens the greenhouse effect and Earth grows even colder.

9 According to Edwards, there is no lack of such mechanisms. "If you add their effects together, there is more than enough feedback to make Milankovitch work," he says. "The problem now is identifying which mechanisms are at work." This is why scientists like Edwards are not yet ready to give up on the current theory. "Milankovitch cycles give us ice ages roughly when we observe them to happen. We can calculate where we are in the cycle and compare it with observation," he says. "I can't see any way of testing [Ehrlich's] idea to see where we are in the temperature oscillation."

10 Ehrlich concedes this. "If there is a way to test this theory on the sun, I can't think of one that is practical," he says. That's because variation over 41,000 to 100,000 years is too gradual to be observed. However, there may be a way to test it in other stars: red dwarfs. Their cores are much smaller than that of the sun, and so Ehrlich believes that the oscillation periods could be short enough to be observed. He has yet to calculate the precise period or the extent of variation in brightness to be expected.

11 Nigel Weiss, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge, is far from convinced. He describes Ehrlich's claims as "utterly implausible". Ehrlich counters that Weiss's opinion is based on the standard solar model, which fails to take into account the magnetic instabilities that cause the temperature fluctuations.

Questions 1-4

Complete each of the following statements with One or Two names of the scientists from the box below.

Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

A. Attila Grandpierre

B. Gábor ágoston

C. Neil Edwards

D. Nigel Weiss

E. Robert Ehrlich

1. ...claims there a dimmer switch inside the sun that causes its brightness to rise and fall in periods as long as those between ice ages on Earth.

2. ...calculated that the internal solar magnetic fields could produce instabilities in the solar plasma.

3. ...holds that Milankovitch cycles can induce changes in solar heating on Earth and the changes are amplified on Earth.

4. ...doesn't believe in Ehrlich's viewpoints at all.

Questions 5-9

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?

In boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet write

TRUE if the statement is true according to the passage

FALSE if the statement is false according to the passage

NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

5. The ice ages changed frequency from 100,000 to 41,000 years a million years ago.

6. The sole problem that the Milankovitch theory can not solve is to explain why the ice age frequency should shift from one to another.

7. Carbon dioxide can be locked artificially into sea ice to eliminate the greenhouse effect.

8. Some scientists are not ready to give up the Milankovitch theory though they haven't figured out which mechanisms amplify the changes in solar heating.

9. Both Edwards and Ehrlich believe that there is no practical way to test when the solar temperature oscillation begins and when ends.

Questions 10-14

Complete the notes below.

Choose one suitable word from the Reading Passage above for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet.

The standard view assumes that the opposing pressures of gravity and nuclear fusions hold the temperature ...10...in the sun's interior, but the slight changes in the earth's ...11... alter the temperature on the earth and cause ice ages every 100,000 years. A British scientist, however, challenges this view by claiming that the internal solar magnetic ...12... can induce the temperature oscillations in the sun's interior. The sun's core temperature oscillates around its average temperature in ...13... lasting either 100,000 or 41,000 years. And the ...14... interactions within the sun's magnetic field could flip the fluctuations from one cycle length to the other, which explains why the ice ages changed frequency a million years ago.




Felicity Lawrence

Thursday December 28, 2006

The Guardian

1. Consumers are to be presented with two rival new year advertising campaigns as the Food Standards Agency goes public in its battle with the industry over the labelling of unhealthy foods.

2. The Guardian has learned that the FSA will launch a series of 10-second television adverts in January telling shoppers how to follow a red, amber and green traffic light labelling system on the front of food packs, which is designed to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic.

3. The campaign is a direct response to a concerted attempt by leading food manufacturers and retailers, including Kellogg’s and Tesco, to derail the system. The industry fears that traffic lights would demonise entire categories of foods and could seriously damage the market for those that are fatty, salty or high in sugar.

4. The UK market for breakfast cereals is worth £1.27bn a year and the manufacturers fear it will be severely dented if red light labels are put on packaging drawing attention to the fact that the majority are high in salt and/or sugar.

5. The industry is planning a major marketing campaign for a competing labelling system which avoids colour-coding in favour of information about the percentage of "guideline daily amounts" (GDAs) of fat, salt and sugar contained in their products.

6. The battle for the nation’s diet comes as new rules on television advertising come into force in January which will bar adverts for unhealthy foods from commercial breaks during programmes aimed at children. Sources at the TV regulators are braced for a legal challenge from the industry and have described the lobbying efforts to block any new ad ban or colour-coded labelling as "the most ferocious we’ve ever experienced".

7. Ofcom’s chief executive, Ed Richards, said: "We are prepared to face up to any legal action from the industry, but we very much hope it will not be necessary." The FSA said it was expecting an onslaught from the industry in January. Senior FSA officials said the manufacturers’ efforts to undermine its proposals on labelling could threaten the agency’s credibility.

8. Terrence Collis, FSA director of communications, dismissed claims that the proposals were not based on science. "We have some of the most respected scientists in Europe, both within the FSA and in our independent advisory committees. It is unjustified and nonsensical to attack the FSA’s scientific reputation and to try to undermine its credibility."

9. The FSA is understood to have briefed its ad agency, United, before Christmas, and will aim to air ads that are "non-confrontational, humorous and factual" as a counterweight to industry’s efforts about the same time. The agency, however, will have a tiny fraction of the budget available to the industry.

10. Gavin Neath, chairman of Unilever UK and president of the Food and Drink Federation, has said that the industry has made enormous progress but could not accept red "stop" signs on its food.

11. Alastair Sykes, chief executive of Nestlé UK, said that under the FSA proposals all his company’s confectionery and most of its cereals would score a red. "Are we saying people shouldn’t eat confectionery? We’re driven by consumers and what they want, and much of what we do has been to make our products healthier," he said.

12. Chris Wermann, director of communications at Kellogg’s, said: "In principle we could never accept traffic light labelling."

13. The rival labelling scheme introduced by Kellogg’s, Danone, Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft and Tesco and now favoured by 21 manufacturers, uses an industry-devised system based on identifying GDAs of key nutrients. Tesco says it has tested both traffic lights and GDA labels in its stores and that the latter increased sales of healthier foods.

14. But the FSA said it could not live with this GDA system alone because it was "not scientific" or easy for shoppers to understand at a glance.

Questions 1-6

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

1. When will instructions be given on reading the color-coded labels?

2. Where can customers find the red light labels?

3. What problem is the FSA trying to handle with the labeling system?

4. Which product sells well but may not be healthy?

5. What information, according to the manufacturers, can be labeled on products?

6. What can not be advertised during children’s programmes?

Questions 7-13

Use the information in the text to match the people (listed A-E) with the opinions (listed 7-13) below. Write the appropriate letter (A-E) for questions 1-7.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

A Ed Richard

B Terrence Collis

C Gavin Neath

D Alastair Sykes

E Chris Wermann

7. Generally we will not agree to use the red light labels.

8. It is unreasonable to doubt if FSA is trustworthy.

9. We are trying to meet our consumers’ needs.

10. The food industry has been improving greatly.

11. The color-coded labeling system is scientific.

12. Our products will be labeled unhealthy by the FSA.

13. We are ready to confront the manufacturers.




1. A European spacecraft took off today to spearhead the search for another "Earth" among the stars.

2. The Corot space telescope blasted off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan shortly after 2.20pm.

3. Corot, short for convection rotation and planetary transits, is the first instrument capable of finding small rocky planets beyond the solar system. Any such planet situated in the right orbit stands a good chance of having liquid water on its surface, and quite possibly life, although a leading scientist involved in the project said it was unlikely to find "any little green men".

4. Developed by the French space agency, CNES, and partnered by the European Space Agency (ESA), Austria, Belgium, Germany, Brazil and Spain, Corot will monitor around 120,000 stars with its 27cm telescope from a polar orbit 514 miles above the Earth. Over two and a half years, it will focus on five to six different areas of the sky, measuring the brightness of about 10,000 stars every 512 seconds.

5. "At the present moment we are hoping to find out more about the nature of planets around stars which are potential habitats. We are looking at habitable planets, not inhabited planets. We are not going to find any little green men," Professor Ian Roxburgh, an ESA scientist who has been involved with Corot since its inception, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

6. Prof Roxburgh said it was hoped Corot would find "rocky planets that could develop an atmosphere and, if they are the right distance from their parent star, they could have water".

7. To search for planets, the telescope will look for the dimming of starlight caused when an object passes in front of a star, known as a "transit". Although it will take more sophisticated space telescopes planned in the next 10 years to confirm the presence of an Earth-like planet with oxygen and liquid water, Corot will let scientists know where to point their lenses.

8. Measurements of minute changes in brightness will enable scientists to detect giant Jupiter-like gas planets as well as small rocky ones. It is the rocky planets - that could be no bigger than about twice the size of the Earth - which will cause the most excitement. Scientists expect to find between 10 and 40 of these smaller planets.

9. Corot will also probe into stellar interiors by studying the acoustic waves that ripple across the surface of stars, a technique called "asteroseismology".

10. The nature of the ripples allows astronomers to calculate a star’s precise mass, age and chemical composition.

11. "A planet passing in front of a star can be detected by the fall in light from that star. Small oscillations of the star also produce changes in the light emitted, which reveal what the star is made of and how they are structured internally. This data will provide a major boost to our understanding of how stars form and evolve," Prof Roxburgh said.

12. Since the discovery in 1995 of the first "exoplanet" - a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun - more than 200 others have been found by ground-based observatories.

13. Until now the usual method of finding exoplanets has been to detect the "wobble" their gravity imparts on parent stars. But only giant gaseous planets bigger than Jupiter can be found this way, and they are unlikely to harbour life.

14. In the 2010s, ESA plans to launch Darwin, a fleet of four or five interlinked space telescopes that will not only spot small rocky planets, but analyse their atmospheres for signs of biological activity.

15. At around the same time, the US space agency, Nasa, will launch Terrestrial Planet Finder, another space telescope designed to locate Earth-like planets.

Choose the appropriate letter from A-D for question 1.

1. Corot is an instrument which

(A) can help to search for certain planets

(B) is used to find planets in the orbit

(C) can locate planets with human beings

(D) can spot any planets with water.

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? For questions 2-5 write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contraicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage

2. Scientists are trying to find out about the planets that can be inhabited.

3. BBC Radio 4 recently focuses on the broadcasting of Corot.

4. Passing objects might cause a fall in light.

5. Corot can tell whether there is another Earth-like planet.

Based on your reading of the passage, complete the sentences below with words taken from the passage. Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

With measurements, scientists will be able to search for some gaseous and rocky planets. They will be extremely excited if they can discover some small 6. __________, the expected number of which could be up to 7. __________ .

Corot will enable scientists to study the 8. __________ of stars. In this way, a star’s mass, age and chemical composition can be calculated.

According to Prof Roxburgh, changes in light can be caused by passing planets or star 9. __________. The related statistics can gain us a better 10. __________ of the star formation and evolvement.

Observatories have found many exoplanets, which are 11. __________ other stars than the Sun. The common way used in finding exoplanets can only detect huge gas planets, which do not 12. ___________ .

With the launching of Darwin, astronomers will be able to analyse whether those rocky planets have 13. __________ for life.




Don't wash those fossils!

Standard museum practice can wash away DNA.

1.Washing, brushing and varnishing fossils — all standard conservation treatments used by many fossil hunters and museum curators alike — vastly reduces the chances of recovering ancient DNA.

2.Instead, excavators should be handling at least some of their bounty with gloves, and freezing samples as they are found, dirt and all, concludes a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today.

3.Although many palaeontologists know anecdotally that this is the best way to up the odds of extracting good DNA, Eva-Maria Geigl of the Jacques Monod Institute in Paris, France, and her colleagues have now shown just how important conservation practices can be.This information, they say, needs to be hammered home among the people who are actually out in the field digging up bones.

4.Geigl and her colleagues looked at 3,200-year-old fossil bones belonging to a single individual of an extinct cattle species, called an aurochs.The fossils were dug up at a site in France at two different times — either in 1947, and stored in a museum collection, or in 2004, and conserved in sterile conditions at -20 oC.

5.The team's attempts to extract DNA from the 1947 bones all failed.The newly excavated fossils, however, all yielded DNA.

6.Because the bones had been buried for the same amount of time, and in the same conditions, the conservation method had to be to blame says Geigl."As much DNA was degraded in these 57 years as in the 3,200 years before," she says.

Wash in, wash out

7.Because many palaeontologists base their work on the shape of fossils alone, their methods of conservation are not designed to preserve DNA, Geigl explains.

8.The biggest problem is how they are cleaned.Fossils are often washed together on-site in a large bath, which can allow water — and contaminants in the form of contemporary DNA — to permeate into the porous bones."Not only is the authentic DNA getting washed out, but contamination is getting washed in," says Geigl.

9.Most ancient DNA specialists know this already, says Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.But that doesn't mean that best practice has become widespread among those who actually find the fossils.

10.Getting hold of fossils that have been preserved with their DNA in mind relies on close relationships between lab-based geneticists and the excavators, says palaeogeneticist Svante P bo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.And that only occurs in exceptional cases, he says.

11.P bo's team, which has been sequencing Neanderthal DNA, continually faces these problems."When you want to study ancient human and Neanderthal remains, there's a big issue of contamination with contemporary human DNA," he says.

12.This doesn't mean that all museum specimens are fatally flawed, notes P bo.The Neanderthal fossils that were recently sequenced in his own lab, for example, had been part of a museum collection treated in the traditional way.But P bo is keen to see samples of fossils from every major find preserved in line with Geigl's recommendations — just in case.

Warm and wet

13.Geigl herself believes that, with cooperation between bench and field researchers, preserving fossils properly could open up avenues of discovery that have long been assumed closed.

14.Much human cultural development took place in temperate regions.DNA does not survive well in warm environments in the first place, and can vanish when fossils are washed and treated.For this reason, Geigl says, most ancient DNA studies have been done on permafrost samples, such as the woolly mammoth, or on remains sheltered from the elements in cold caves — including cave bear and Neanderthal fossils.

15.Better conservation methods, and a focus on fresh fossils, could boost DNA extraction from more delicate specimens, says Geigl.And that could shed more light on the story of human evolution.

(640 words nature )


Palaeontologists 古生物学家

Aurochs 欧洲野牛

Neanderthal (人类学)尼安德特人,旧石器时代的古人类。

Permafrost (地理)永冻层

Questions 1-6

Answer the following questions by using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

1.How did people traditionally treat fossils?

2.What suggestions do Geigl and her colleagues give on what should be done when fossils are found?

3.What problems may be posed if fossil bones are washed on-site? Name ONE.

4.What characteristic do fossil bones have to make them susceptible to be contaminated with contemporary DNA when they are washed?

5.What could be better understood when conservation treatments are improved?

6.The passage mentioned several animal species studied by researchers.How many of them are mentioned?

Questions 7-11

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage? Please write TRUE if the statement agrees with the writer FALSE if the statement does not agree with the writer NOT GIVEN if there is no information about this in the passage.

7.In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,Geigl and her colleagues have shown what conservation practices should be followed to preserve ancient DNA.

8.The fossil bones that Geigl and her colleagues studied are all from the same aurochs.

9.Geneticists don't have to work on site.

10.Only newly excavated fossil bones using new conservation methods suggested by Geigl and her colleagues contain ancient DNA.

11.Paabo is still worried about the potential problems caused by treatments of fossils in traditional way.

Questions 12-13

Complete the following the statements by choosing letter A-D for each answer.

12.“This information” in paragraph 3 indicates:

[A] It is critical to follow proper practices in preserving ancient DNA.

[B] The best way of getting good DNA is to handle fossils with gloves.

[C] Fossil hunters should wear home-made hammers while digging up bones.

[D] Many palaeontologists know how one should do in treating fossils.

13.The study conducted by Geigl and her colleagues suggests:

[A] the fact that ancient DNA can not be recovered from fossil bones excavated in the past.

[B] the correlation between the amount of burying time and that of the recovered DNA.

[C] the pace at which DNA degrades.

[D] the correlation between conservation practices and degradation of DNA.




1.The failure of a high-profile cholesterol drug has thrown a spotlight on the complicated machinery that regulates cholesterol levels.But many researchers remain confident that drugs to boost levels of 'good' cholesterol are still one of the most promising means to combat spiralling heart disease.

2.Drug company Pfizer announced on 2 December that it was cancelling all clinical trials of torcetrapib,a drug designed to raise heart-protective high-density lipoproteins (HDLs).In a trial of 15000 patients,a safety board found that more people died or suffered cardiovascular problems after taking the drug plus a cholesterol-lowering statin than those in a control group who took the statin alone.

3.The news came as a kick in the teeth to many cardiologists because earlier tests in animals and people suggested it would lower rates of cardiovascular disease."There have been no red flags to my knowledge," says John Chapman,a specialist in lipoproteins and atherosclerosis at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris who has also studied torcetrapib."This cancellation came as a complete shock."

4.Torcetrapib is one of the most advanced of a new breed of drugs designed to raise levels of HDLs,which ferry cholesterol out of artery-clogging plaques to the liver for removal from the body.Specifically,torcetrapib blocks a protein called cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP),which normally transfers the cholesterol from high-density lipoproteins to low density,plaque-promoting ones.Statins,in contrast,mainly work by lowering the 'bad' low-density lipoproteins.

Under pressure

5.Researchers are now trying to work out why and how the drug backfired,something that will not become clear until the clinical details are released by Pfizer.One hint lies in evidence from earlier trials that it slightly raises blood pressure in some patients.It was thought that this mild problem would be offset by the heart benefits of the drug.But it is possible that it actually proved fatal in some patients who already suffered high blood pressure.If blood pressure is the explanation,it would actually be good news for drug developers because it suggests that the problems are specific to this compound.Other prototype drugs that are being developed to block CETP work in a slightly different way and might not suffer the same downfall.

6.But it is also possible that the whole idea of blocking CETP is flawed,says Moti Kashyap,who directs atherosclerosis research at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach,California.When HDLs excrete cholesterol in the liver,they actually rely on LDLs for part of this process.So inhibiting CETP,which prevents the transfer of cholesterol from HDL to LDL,might actually cause an abnormal and irreversible accumulation of cholesterol in the body."You're blocking a physiologic mechanism to eliminate cholesterol and effectively constipating the pathway," says Kashyap.Going up

7.Most researchers remain confident that elevating high density lipoproteins levels by one means or another is one of the best routes for helping heart disease patients.But HDLs are complex and not entirely understood.One approved drug,called niacin,is known to both raise HDL and reduce cardiovascular risk but also causes an unpleasant sensation of heat and tingling.Researchers are exploring whether they can bypass this side effect and whether niacin can lower disease risk more than statins alone.Scientists are also working on several other means to bump up high-density lipoproteins by,for example,introducing synthetic HDLs."The only thing we know is dead in the water is torcetrapib,not the whole idea of raising HDL," says Michael Miller,director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center,Baltimore.

Questions 7-13

Match torcetrapib,HDLs,statin and CETP with their functions (Questions 8-13)..Write the correct letter A,B,C or D in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet.NB You may use any letter more than once.

7.It has been administered to over 10,000 subjects in a clinical trial.

8.It could help rid human body of cholesterol.

9.Researchers are yet to find more about it.

10.It was used to reduce the level of cholesterol.

11.According to Kashyap,it might lead to unwanted result if it's blocked.

12.It produced contradictory results in different trials.

13.It could inhibit LDLs.List of choices





Rogue theory of smell gets a boost

1.A controversial theory of how we smell, which claims that our fine sense of odour depends on quantum mechanics, has been given the thumbs up by a team of physicists.

2.Calculations by researchers at University College London (UCL) show that the idea that we smell odour molecules by sensing their molecular vibrations makes sense in terms of the physics involved.

3.That's still some way from proving that the theory, proposed in the mid-1990s by biophysicist Luca Turin, is correct.But it should make other scientists take the idea more seriously.

4."This is a big step forward," says Turin, who has now set up his own perfume company Flexitral in Virginia.He says that since he published his theory, "it has been ignored rather than criticized."

5.Most scientists have assumed that our sense of smell depends on receptors in the nose detecting the shape of incoming molecules, which triggers a signal to the brain.This molecular 'lock and key' process is thought to lie behind a wide range of the body's detection systems: it is how some parts of the immune system recognise invaders, for example, and how the tongue recognizes some tastes.

6.But Turin argued that smell doesn't seem to fit this picture very well.Molecules that look almost identical can smell very different — such as alcohols, which smell like spirits, and thiols, which smell like rotten eggs.And molecules with very different structures can smell similar.Most strikingly, some molecules can smell different — to animals, if not necessarily to humans — simply because they contain different isotopes (atoms that are chemically identical but have a different mass).

7.Turin's explanation for these smelly facts invokes the idea that the smell signal in olfactory receptor proteins is triggered not by an odour molecule's shape, but by its vibrations, which can enourage an electron to jump between two parts of the receptor in a quantum-mechanical process called tunnelling.This electron movement could initiate the smell signal being sent to the brain.

8.This would explain why isotopes can smell different: their vibration frequencies are changed if the atoms are heavier.Turin's mechanism, says Marshall Stoneham of the UCL team, is more like swipe-card identification than a key fitting a lock.

9.Vibration-assisted electron tunnelling can undoubtedly occur — it is used in an experimental technique for measuring molecular vibrations."The question is whether this is possible in the nose," says Stoneham's colleague, Andrew Horsfield.

10.Stoneham says that when he first heard about Turin's idea, while Turin was himself based at UCL, "I didn't believe it".But, he adds, "because it was an interesting idea, I thought I should prove it couldn't work.I did some simple calculations, and only then began to feel Luca could be right." Now Stoneham and his co-workers have done the job more thoroughly, in a paper soon to be published in Physical Review Letters.

11.The UCL team calculated the rates of electron hopping in a nose receptor that has an odorant molecule bound to it.This rate depends on various properties of the biomolecular system that are not known, but the researchers could estimate these parameters based on typical values for molecules of this sort.

12.The key issue is whether the hopping rate with the odorant in place is significantly greater than that without it.The calculations show that it is — which means that odour identification in this way seems theoretically possible.

13.But Horsfield stresses that that's different from a proof of Turin's idea."So far things look plausible, but we need proper experimental verification.We're beginning to think about what experiments could be performed."

14.Meanwhile, Turin is pressing ahead with his hypothesis."At Flexitral we have been designing odorants exclusively on the basis of their computed vibrations," he says."Our success rate at odorant discovery is two orders of magnitude better than the competition." At the very least, he is putting his money where his nose is.

Questions 5-9

Complete the sentences below with words from the passage.Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

5.The hypothesis that we smell by sensing the molecular vibration was made by ______.

6.Turin's company is based in ______.

7.Most scientists believed that our nose works in the same way as our ______.

8.Different isotopes can smell different when ______ weigh differently.

9.According to Audrew Horsfield, it is still to be proved that ______ could really occur in human nose.




How shops can exploit people's herd mentality to increase sales

1.A TRIP to the supermarket may not seem like an exercise in psychological warfare—but it is.Shopkeepers know that filling a store with the aroma of freshly baked bread makes people feel hungry and persuades them to buy more food than they had intended.Stocking the most expensive products at eye level makes them sell faster than cheaper but less visible competitors.Now researchers are investigating how “swarm intelligence” (that is,how ants,bees or any social animal,including humans,behave in a crowd) can be used to influence what people buy.

2.At a recent conference on the simulation of adaptive behaviour in Rome,Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani,a computer scientist from the Florida Institute of Technology,described a new way to increase impulse buying using this phenomenon.Supermarkets already encourage shoppers to buy things they did not realise they wanted: for instance,by placing everyday items such as milk and eggs at the back of the store,forcing shoppers to walk past other tempting goods to reach them.Mr Usmani and Ronaldo Menezes,also of the Florida Institute of Technology,set out to enhance this tendency to buy more by playing on the herd instinct.The idea is that,if a certain product is seen to be popular,shoppers are likely to choose it too.The challenge is to keep customers informed about what others are buying.

3.Enter smart-cart technology.In Mr Usmani's supermarket every product has a radio frequency identification tag,a sort of barcode that uses radio waves to transmit information,and every trolley has a scanner that reads this information and relays it to a central computer.As a customer walks past a shelf of goods,a screen on the shelf tells him how many people currently in the shop have chosen that particular product.If the number is high,he is more likely to select it too.

4.Mr Usmani's “swarm-moves” model appeals to supermarkets because it increases sales without the need to give people discounts.And it gives shoppers the satisfaction of knowing that they bought the “right” product—that is,the one everyone else bought.The model has not yet been tested widely in the real world,mainly because radio frequency identification technology is new and has only been installed experimentally in some supermarkets.But Mr Usmani says that both Wal-Mart in America and Tesco in Britain are interested in his work,and testing will get under way in the spring.

5.Another recent study on the power of social influence indicates that sales could,indeed,be boosted in this way.Matthew Salganik of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues have described creating an artificial music market in which some 14,000 people downloaded previously unknown songs.The researchers found that when people could see the songs ranked by how many times they had been downloaded,they followed the crowd.When the songs were not ordered by rank,but the number of times they had been downloaded was displayed,the effect of social influence was still there but was less pronounced.People thus follow the herd when it is easy for them to do so.

6.In Japan a chain of convenience shops called RanKing RanQueen has been ordering its products according to sales data from department stores and research companies.The shops sell only the most popular items in each product category,and the rankings are updated weekly.Icosystem,a company in Cambridge,Massachusetts,also aims to exploit knowledge of social networking to improve sales.

7.And the psychology that works in physical stores is just as potent on the internet.Online retailers such as Amazon are adept at telling shoppers which products are popular with like-minded consumers.Even in the privacy of your home,you can still be part of the swarm.

Questions 1-6

Complete the sentences below with words taken from the reading passage.Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

1.Shopowners realize that the smell of _______________ can increase sales of food products.

2.In shops,products shelved at a more visible level sell better even if they are more _______________.

3.According to Mr.Usmani,with the use of “swarm intelligence” phenomenon,a new method can be applied to encourage _______________.

4.On the way to everyday items at the back of the store,shoppers might be tempted to buy _______________.

5.If the number of buyers shown on the _______________ is high,other customers tend to follow them.

6.Using the “swarm-moves” model,shopowners do not have to give customers _______________ to increase sales.