Ielts reading recent actual tests (2016 2017) with answers published by ieltsmaterial com

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J Imperial College, London, examined crop collections from 151 countries and found that while the number of plant samples had increased in two thirds of the countries, budget had been cut in a quarter and remained static in another 35 percent. The
UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural

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Research has since setup the Global Conservation Trust, which aims to raise US $260 million to protect seed banks in perpetuity.
Questions 14-19 Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? In boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet, write TRUE if the statement is true FALSE if the statement is false NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
14. The purpose of collecting seeds now is different from the past
15. The millennium seed bank is the earliest seed bank.
16. One of major threats for plant species extinction is farmland expansion into wildness.
17. The approach that scientists apply to store seeds is similar to that used by farmers.
18. technological development is the only hope to save plant species.
19. The works of seed conservation are often limited by financial problems.
Questions 20-24
Summary Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage 2, using no more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 20-24 on your answer sheet. Some people collect seeds for the purpose of protecting certain species from
___________ 20_________ ; others collect seeds for their ability to produce
21_____________ They are called seed hunters.

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The ______________ 22_____________ of them included both gardeners and botanists
,such as 23_____________ who financially supported collectors out of his own pocket. The seeds collected are usually stored in seed banks, one of which is the famous millennium seed bank, where seeds are all stored in the __________
24___________ at a low temperature.
Questions 25-26 Choose the correct letter, A-E. Write your answers in boxes 25, 26 on your answer sheet. Which TWO of the followings are provided by plants to the human ? A food B fuels C clothes D energy E commercial products

The Power of Nothing
Geoff Watts, New Scientist (May 26th, 2001)
A Want to devise anew form of alternative medicine No problem. Here is the recipe. Be warm, sympathetic, reassuring and enthusiastic. Your treatment should involve physical contact, and each session with your patients should last at least half an hour, treatment and understand how their disorders relate to the rest of their lives. Tell them that their

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own bodies possess the true power to heal. Make them pay you out of their own pockets. Describe your treatment in familiar words, but embroidered with a hint of mysticism energy fields, energy flows, energy blocks, meridians, forces, auras, rhythms and the like. Refer to the K J knowledge of an earlier age wisdom carelessly swept aside by the rise and rise of blind, mechanistic science. Oh, come off it, you are saying. Something invented off the top of your head could not possibly work, could it
B Well yes, it could - and often well enough to earn you living. A good living if you are sufficiently convincing, or better still, really believe in your therapy. Many illnesses get better on their own, so if you are lucky and administer your treatment at just the right time you will get the credit. But that’s only part of it. Some of the improvement really would be down to you. Your healing power would be the outcome of a paradoxical force that conventional medicine recognizes but remains oddly ambivalent about the placebo effect.
C Placebos are treatments that have no direct effect on the body, yet still work because the patient has faith in their power to heal. Most often the term refers to a dummy pill, but it applies just as much to any device or procedure, from a sticking plaster to a crystal to an operation. The existence of the placebo effect implies that even quackery may confer real benefits, which is why any mention of placebo is a touchy subject for many practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine, who are likely to regard it as tantamount to a charge of charlatanism. In fact, the placebo effect is a powerful part of all medical care, orthodox or otherwise, though its role is often neglected or misunderstood.
One of the great strengths of CAM maybe its practioners’ skill in deploying the placebo effect to accomplish real healing. "Complementary practitioners are miles better at producing nonspecific effects and good therapeutic relationships" says Edzard Ernst, professor of CAM at Exeter University. The question is whether CAM could be integrated into conventional medicine, as some would like, without losing much of this power.
E At one level, it should come as no surprise that our state of mind can influence our physiology anger opens the superficial blood vessels of the face sadness pumps the

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tear glands. But exactly how placebos work their medical magic is still largely unknown. Most of the scant research done so far has focused on the control of pain, because it’s one of the commonest compaints and lends itself to experimental study. Here, attention has turned to the endorphins, morphine-like neurochemicals known to help control pain.
F But exactly how placebos work their medical magic is still largely unknown. Most of the scant research to date has focused on the control of pain, because it’s one of the commonest complaints and lends itself to experimental study. Here, attention has turned to the endorphins, natural counterparts of morphine that are known to help control pain. Any of the neurochemicals involved in transmitting pain impulses or modulating them might also be involved in generating the placebo response" says Don Price, an oral surgeon at the University of Florida who studies the placebo effect in dental pain.
G "But endorphins are still out in front" That case has been strengthened by the recent work of Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin, who showed that the placebo effect can be abolished by a drug, naloxone, which blocks the effects of endorphins. Benedetti induced pain inhuman volunteers by inflating a blood-pressure cuff on the forearm. He did this several times a day for several days, using morphine each time to control the pain. On the final day, without saying anything, he replaced the morphine with a saline solution. This still relieved the subjects pain a placebo effect. But when he added naloxone to the saline the pain relief disappeared. Here was direct proof that placebo analgesia is mediated, at least in part, by these natural opiates
H Still, no one knows how belief triggers endorphin release, or why most people can't achieve placebo pain relief simply by willing it. Though scientists don’t know exactly how placebos work, they have accumulated a fair bit of knowledge about how to trigger the effect. A London rheumatologist found, for example, that red dummy capsules made more effective painkillers than blue, green or yellow ones. Research on American students revealed that blue pills make better sedatives than pink, a colour more suitable for stimulants. Even branding can make a difference if Aspro or Tylenol are what you like to take fora headache, their chemically identical generic equivalents maybe less effective.

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I It matters, too, how the treatment is delivered. Decades ago, when the major tranquilliser chlorpromazine was being introduced, a doctor in Kansas categorised his colleagues according to whether they were keen on it openly sceptical of its benefits, or took a lets try and see attitude. His conclusion the more enthusiastic the doctor, the better the drug performed. And this, year Ernst surveyed published studies that compared doctors' bedside manners. The studies turned up one consistent finding "Physicians who adopt a warm, friendly and reassuring manner" he reported, "are more effective than those whose consultations are formal and do not offer reassurance
J Warm, friendly and reassuring are precisely CAM,s strong suits, of course. Many ofthe ingredients of that opening recipe
— the physical contact, the generous swathes of time, the strong hints of supernormal healing power 一 are just the kind of thing likely to impress patients. It’s hardly surprising, then, that complementary practitioners are generally best at mobilising the placebo effect, says Arthur Kleinman, professor of social anthropology at Harvard University.
Questions 27-32 Use the information in the passage to match the deed (listed AH) with people below. Write the appropriate letters AH in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet. NB you may use any letter more than once A Should easily be understood B should improve by itself C Should not involve any mysticism D Ought to last a minimum length of time. E Needs to be treated at the right time. F Should give more recognition.

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G Can earn valuable money. H Do not rely on any specific treatment
27. Appointments with alternative practitioner
28. An alternative practitioners description of treatment
29. An alternative practitioner who has faith in what he does
30. The illness of patients convinced of alternative practice
31. Improvements of patients receiving alternative practice
32. Conventional medical doctors (who is aware of placebo)
Questions 33-35 Choose the correct letter, ABC or D. Write your answers in boxes 33-35 on your answer sheet,
33. In the fifth paragraph, the writer uses the example of anger and sadness to illustrate that A People’s feeling could affect their physical behaviour B Scientists don't understand how the mind influences the body. C Research on the placebo effect is very limited D How placebo achieves its effect is yet to be understood.
34. Research on pain control attracts most of the attention because A Scientists have discovered that endorphins can help to reduce pain.

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B Only a limited number of researchers gain relevant experience C Pain reducing agents might also be involved in placebo effect. D Patients often experience pain and like to complain about it
35. Fabrizio Benedettfs research on endorphins indicates that A They are widely used to regulate pain. B They can be produced by willM thoughts C They can be neutralized by introducing naloxone. D Their pain-relieving effects do not last long enough.
Questions 36-40 Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet, write TRUE if the statement is true FALSE if the statement is false NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
36. There is enough information for scientists to fhlly understand the placebo effect.
37. A London based researcher discovered that red pills should betaken off the market.
38. People's preference on brands would also have effect on their healing.
39. Medical doctors have a range of views of the newly introduced drug of
40. Alternative practitioners are seldom known for applying placebo effect.

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Reading Test 5

Going Bananas
The world's favourite fruit could disappear forever in 10 years time. The banana is among the world’s oldest crops. Agricultural scientists believe that the first edible banana was discovered around ten thousand years ago. It has been at an evolutionary standstill ever since it was first propagated in the jungles of South-East Asia at the end of the last ice age. Normally the wild banana, a giant jungle herb called Musa acuminata, contains amass of hard seeds that make the fruit virtually inedible. But now and then, hunter- gatherers must have discovered rare mutant plants that produced seedless, edible fruits. Geneticists now know that the vast majority of these soft-fruited plants resulted from genetic accidents that gave their cells three copies of each chromosome instead of the usual two. This imbalance prevents seeds and pollen from developing normally, rendering the mutant plants sterile. And that is why some scientists believe the world's most popular fruit could be doomed. It lacks the genetic diversity to fight off pests and diseases that are invading the banana plantations of Central America and the smallholdings of Africa and Asia alike.
B In someways, the banana today resembles the potato before blight brought famine to Ireland a century and a half ago. But "it holds a lesson for other crops, too, says Emile
Frison, top banana at the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Montpellier, France. "The state of the banana, ,Frison warns, "can teach a broader lesson the increasing standardisation of food crops round the world is threatening their ability to adapt and survive"
C The first Stone Age plant breeders cultivated these sterile freaks by replanting cuttings from their stems. And the descendants of those original cuttings are the bananas we still eat today. Each is a virtual clone, almost devoid of genetic diversity. And that uniformity makes it ripe for disease like no other crop on Earth. Traditional varieties of sexually

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reproducing crops have always had a much broader genetic base, and the genes will recombine in new arrangements in each generation. This gives them much greater flexibility in evolving responses to disease - and far more genetic resources to draw on in the face of an attack. But that advantage is fading fast, as growers increasingly plant the same few, high-yielding varieties. Plant breeders work feverishly to maintain resistance in these standardized crops. Should these efforts falter, yields of even the most productive crop could swiftly crash. "When some pest or disease comes along, severe epidemics can occur" says Geoff Hawtin, director of the Rome-based International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.
D The banana is an excellent casein point. Until the 1950s,one variety, the Gros Michel, dominated the world’s commercial banana business. Found by French botanists in Asian the 1820s,the Gros Michel was by all accounts a fine banana, richer and sweeter than today's standard banana and without the latter/s bitter aftertaste when green. But it was vulnerable to a soil fungus that produced a wilt known as Panama disease. "Once the fungus gets into the soil it remains therefor many years. There is nothing farmers can do. Even chemical spraying won’t get rid of it" says Rodomiro Ortiz, director of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria. So plantation owners played a running game, abandoning infested fields and moving so "clean land _ until they ran out of clean land in the sand had to abandon the Gros Michel. Its successor, and still the reigning commercial king, is the Cavendish banana, a 19th-century British discovery from southern China. The Cavendish is resistant to Panama disease and, as a result, it literally saved the international banana industry. During the sit replaced the Gros Michel on supermarket shelves. If you buy a banana today, it is almost certainly a Cavendish. But even so, it is a minority in the world's banana crop.
E Half a billion people in Asia and Africa depend on bananas. Bananas provide the largest source of calories and are eaten daily. Its name is synonymous with food. But the day of reckoning maybe coming for the Cavendish and its indigenous kin. Another fungal disease, black Sigatoka, has become a global epidemic since its first appearance in Fiji in 1963. Left to itself, black Sigatoka which causes brown wounds on leaves and pre-

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mature fruit ripening - cuts fruit yields by 50 to 70 percent and reduces the productive lifetime of banana plants from 30 years to as little as 2 or 3. Commercial growers keep
Sigatoka at bay by a massive chemical assault. Forty sprayings of fungicide a year is typical. But despite the fungicides, diseases such as black Sigatoka are getting more and more difficult to control. "As soon as you bring in anew fungicide, they develop resistance, says Frison.”One thing we can be sure of is that the Sigatoka won’t lose in this battle" Poor farmers, who cannot afford chemicals, have it even worse. They can do little more than watch their plants die. "Most of the banana fields in Amazonia have already been destroyed by the disease" says Luadir Gasparotto, Brazil’s leading banana pathologist with the government research agency EMBRAPA. Production is likely to fall by 70 percent as the disease spreads, he predicts. The only option will be to find anew variety.
F But how Almost all edible varieties are susceptible to the diseases, so growers cannot simply change to a different banana. With most crops, such a threat would unleash an army of breeders, scouring the world for resistant relatives whose traits they can breed into commercial varieties. Not so with the banana. Because all edible varieties are sterile, bringing in new genetic traits to help cope with pests and diseases is nearly impossible. Nearly, but not totally. Very rarely, a sterile banana will experience a genetic accident that allows an almost normal seed to develop, giving breeders a tiny window for improvement. Breeders at the Honduran Foundation of Agricultural Research have tried to exploit this to create disease-resistant varieties. Further backcrossing with wild bananas yielded anew seedless banana resistant to both black Sigatoka and Panama disease.
G Neither Western supermarket consumers nor peasant growers like the new hybrid. Some accuse it of tasting more like an apple than a banana. Not surprisingly, the majority of plant breeders have till now turned their backs on the banana and got to work on easier plants. And commercial banana companies are now washing their hands of the whole breeding effort, preferring to fund a search for new fungicides instead. "We supported a breeding programme for 40 years, but it wasn’t able to develop an alternative to Cavendish. It was very expensive and we got nothing back" says Ronald Romero, head

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of research at Chiquita, one of the Big Three companies that dominate the international banana trade.
H Last year, a global consortium of scientists led by Frison announced plans to sequence the banana genome within five years. It would be the first edible fruit to be sequenced. Well, almost edible. The group will actually be sequencing inedible wild bananas from East Asia because many of these are resistant to black Sigatoka. If they can pinpoint the genes that help these wild varieties to resist black Sigatoka, the protective genes could be introduced into laboratory tissue cultures of cells from edible varieties. These could then be propagated into new, resistant plants and passed onto farmers.
I It sounds promising, but the big banana companies have, until now, refused to get involved in GM research for fear of alienating their customers. "Biotechnology is extremely expensive and there are serious questions about consumer acceptance says David McLaughlin, Chiquita's senior director for environmental affairs. With scant funding from the companies, the banana genome researchers are focusing on the other end of the spectrum. Even if they can identify the crucial genes, they will be along way from developing new varieties that smallholders will find suitable and affordable. But whatever biotechnology’s academic interest, it is the only hope for the banana. Without banana production worldwide will head into a tailspin. We may even seethe extinction of the banana as both a lifesaver for hungry and impoverished Africans and as the most popular product on the world's supermarket shelves.
Questions 1-3 Complete the sentences below with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage. In boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet, write Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet
1. Banana was first eaten as a fruit by humans years ago.

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2. Banana was first planted in.
3. Wild banana’s taste is adversely affected by its.
Questions 4-10 Look at the following statements (Questions 4-10) and the list of people below Match each statement with the correct person, AI. Write the correct letter AI, in boxes 4-10 On your answer sheet. NB You may use any letter more than once.
4. Pest invasion may seriously damage banana industry.
5. The effect of fungal infection in soil is often long-lasting.
6. A commercial manufacturer gave upon breeding bananas for disease resistant
7. Banana disease may develop resistance to chemical sprays.
8. A banana disease has destroyed a large number of banana plantations.
9. Consumers would not accept genetically altered crop.
10. Lessons can be learned from bananas for other crops.
List of People A Rodomiro B David Maclaughlin C Emile Frison D Ronald Romero E Luadir Gasparotto

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F Geoff Hawtin
Questions 11-13 Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet, write TRUE if the statement is true FALSE if the statement is false NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
11. Banana is the oldesrt known fruit
12. Gros Michel is still being used as a commercial product
13. Banana is a main food in some countries

Computer Provides More Questions Than Answers
A The island of Antikythera lies 18 miles north of Crete, where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean. Currents there can make shipping treacherous and one ship bound for ancient Rome never made it. The ship that sank there was a giant cargo vessel measuring nearly 500 feet long. It came to rest about 200 feet below the surface, where it stayed for more than 2,000 years until divers looking for sponges discovered the wreck a little more than a century ago.
B Inside the hull were a number of bronze and marble statues. From the look of things, the ship seemed to be carrying luxury items, probably made in various Greek islands and bound for wealthy patrons in the growing Roman Empire. The statues were retrieved, along with a lot of other unimportant stuff, and stored. Nine months later, an enterprising

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archaeologist cleared off a layer of organic material from one of the pieces of junk and found that it looked like a gearwheel. It had inscriptions in Greek characters and seemed to have something to do with astronomy.
C That piece of Junk went onto become the most celebrated find from the shipwreck it is displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Research has shown that the wheel was part of a device so sophisticated that its complexity would not be matched fora thousand years
— it was also the world's first known analog computer. The device is so famous that an international conference organized in Athens a couple of weeks ago had only one subject the Antikythera Mechanism.

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