BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

IELTS General Reading Test



Cryogenic Sleep For Space Travel And Future Cure 

Our bodies aren’t designed for space travel. This piece of information comes as a jolt to fans of the science fiction genre, but we need to embrace the fact that our bodies require too much maintenance. Out there beyond the stars, it is impossible and even untenable to think about maintaining our needs for water, food and oxygen. The warmth we need to sustain ourselves will not be available in space. The temperature in outer space is somewhere around -455 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if we somehow manage to find resources to ensure our survival, we simply wouldn’t have anything to do there! But, the air is rife with a possibility: Put yourself to sleep.

Back in the 1970s in a show called Time Slip, the characters were shown to be frozen in ice. Back then, it was just fantasy, and today we are close to achieving perfection in the field of Cryogenics- the science of producing very cold temperatures and studying its effects. Alcor, one the largest cryogenic companies in the world, believes that futurism is a valid school of thought .This company has chosen to opt for neuropreservation, which is freezing the  brain instead of preserving the entire body. Cryopreservation is considered to be the apple of the eye of the futurism community.

IELTS General Reading Test

The premise is indeed simple- the field of medicine is constantly growing. With this, the possibility of space travel for longer periods and futuristic cure is growing larger. Cryonics bridges the gap between today and the days to come in future. Before 50 years, if someone were to suffer from a heart attack and fall, the doctor would check for the pulse, and upon no response would declare the person dead.

With the advent of cryonics, this has changed. Some of the premises of cryonics are what one could call ‘untestable’ because no one has ever tried bringing a person back to life after cryogenic preservation. In spite of this, people with chronic diseases are being frozen in liquid nitrogen, with the hope of seeing a distant future.

IELTS General Reading Test

Efforts to make the revival of the medically pronounced dead a possibility are being undertaken by companies such as Alcor. Once a person has been declared as dead, Alcor comes in and begins the process of preserving the body. This is very complex, with the first step being the transfer of the ‘patient’ from the hospital bed to a bed of ice and covering the cadaver with a slurry of ice.

Then, they use what is known as a heart-lung resuscitator to get the blood pumping again. After this, the preservation of the cells begins. Alcor uses about 16 different medications to protect the cells from dying after body functions cease. Since the patients are deceased, Alcor has the permission to use methods which may not pertain with the conventions of medical use. Soon, these patients are moved for surgery.

IELTS General Reading Test

This entire process is high-risk, with the reward being determined by meticulous work. There is no room to slip up. They are freezing a lot of bodies in liquid nitrogen without knowing the actual outcome. But, gradual changes are occurring in the field of tissue regeneration, though the changes are small, they are occurring at a steady pace. Taking into consideration the efforts of another company, SpaceWorks, based in Atlanta has been studying the possibility of sending humans into deeper space.

They received grants from NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) to pursue research in what is known as Phase 1 of their “Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitat for Human Stasis to SpaceWorks”. SpaceWorks believes that there is a medical procedure which is key to enabling deep space travel. “The nearest equivalent to hibernation currently experienced by humans is a medical condition called therapeutic hypothermia,” says SpaceWorks researcher Doug Talk.

IELTS General Reading Test

This process is often used to treat patients who have gone into cardiac arrest or infants who are born with defects. The body temperature of the individual is reduced by 10 degrees centigrade using either ice packs or an intravascular catheter. SpaceWorks believes that they can use the same technique to put human beings into a torpor, which a bear enters into to endure long winters.

This torpor is what will enable humans to be transported across vast stretches of space. A centrally positioned robotic arm will move over the travellers, ensuring that all the needs of the body are met.

IELTS General Reading Test

Why freeze the bodies? Cold reduces the rate of metabolism, as a result of which the heart rate of an individual is reduced. This is beneficial as an unconscious person takes up less space as compared to a conscious one. With a team of dedicated scientists at SpaceWorks and Alcor working on the application of cryogenics in the fields of medical science and space travel, both the areas seem to be on the brink of metamorphosis.

Once the field of cryonics develops completely, humans will be able to conquer dimensions which were unheard of before. With research aimed at expanding knowledge and increasing longevity of the human species, there is very little that would be left to the imagination. These changes are beneficial and are a testimony to the evolution our minds are undergoing at a rapid rate.

IELTS General Reading Test

Complete the flow chart below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.,


IELTS General Reading Test

Alaskans’ vitamin D production slows to a halt Reading Passage

Interested people are needed to participate in a one-year study to assess the effects of long dark winters on the vitamin D and calcium levels of Fairbanks residents.

So began a recruitment poster Meredith Tallas created 25 years ago. Now living in Oakland, California, Tallas was a University of Alaska Fairbanks student in 1983 who wanted to study how levels of a vitamin related to sun exposure fluctuated in people living so far from the equator. “The most obvious vitamin to study in Alaska is vitamin D, because of the low light in winter,” Tallas said recently over the phone from her office in Berkeley.

IELTS General Reading Test

Forty-seven people responded to Tallas’ 1983 request, and her master’s project was underway. By looking at the blood work of those Fairbanks residents every month and analyzing their diets, she charted their levels of vitamin D, which our skin magically produces after exposure to a certain amount of sunshine. We also get vitamin D from foods, such as vitamin-D enriched milk and margarine, and fish (salmon are a good source). Vitamin D is important for the prevention of bone diseases, diabetes, and other maladies.

If you live at a latitude farther north than about 42 degrees (Boston, Detroit, or Eugene, Oregon), the sun is too low on the horizon from November through February for your skin to produce vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health. Tallas also saw another potential Alaska limitation on the natural pathway to vitamin D production.

IELTS General Reading Test

“Most outdoor activity requires covering all but the face and hands approximately seven months of the year,” she wrote in her thesis. “During the summer months residents keep much of their bodies clothed because of the persistent and annoying mosquitoes and biting flies and because of this, an Alaskan summer suntan becomes one of the face and hands.”

But even over bundled people like Alaskans show signs of enhanced vitamin D production from the sun. Tallas found the highest levels of vitamin D in the Fairbanks volunteers’ blood in July, and the lowest levels in March. Tallas attributed the July high occurring about a month after summer solstice to the time needed for the body’s processing of sunlight and the conversion to vitamin D.

IELTS General Reading Test

In Tallas’ study, volunteers showed low levels of vitamin D in the winter months, but most got sufficient doses of vitamin D from sources other than the sun. Tallas also found that males had an average of 16 percent more vitamin D in their blood throughout the study, which she attributed in part to men being outside more.

In charting an average for people’s time outside (you can’t convert sunlight to vitamin D through windows), she found December was the low point of sunlight exposure when the sun struck the skin of her volunteers for less than 20 minutes per day. People spent an average of more than two hours exposed to Alaska sunlight in June and July. They seemed to hunker down in October when time outside in the sun dropped to about half an hour after almost two hours of daily sun exposure in September.

IELTS General Reading Test

Vitamin D levels in the volunteers’ blood dropped in August, September, October, November, December, January, February, and March, but Tallas saw an occasional leap in midwinter. “When someone had gone to Hawaii, we could see, very exactly, a significant spike in their vitamin D levels,” Tallas said. “The only surprise was how it came a month or two after.”

In her thesis, Tallas wrote that a midwinter trip to somewhere close to the equator would be a good thing for boosting Alaskans’ vitamin D levels. “Presuming that an individual’s lowest circulating vitamin D level is found in March or April, such trips could potentially have a very significant effect in improving late winter vitamin D status,” she wrote in her thesis. “Unfortunately a majority of Alaskan residents do not take such trips often.” An easy alternative for Alaskans not travelling southward during the winter is eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking vitamin D supplements, Tallas said.

IELTS General Reading Test

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IELTS General Reading Test

Write ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

6.  Tallas invited Fairbank residents to her ……………………… through an advertisement.

7. Tallas examined the food intake as well as ……………………… samples of the subjects to record their vitamin D levels.

8. As you move up ……………………… ,there is insufficient availability of sunlight.

IELTS General Reading Test

9. To avoid insect bites, Alaskans remain almost entirely ………………………

10. Spending more time ……………………… led to higher vitamin D levels in male volunteers.

11. At its lowest, Alaskans are exposed to the sun for only a few ……………………… every day.

12. A ……………………… to sunny regions during winters can surge the vitamin D levels of Alaskans.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 440

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