Pest And Pollinators # Practice Reading

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have recently published a report on using insects as a protein source for animal feed and human consumption. It found that edible  (fit to be eaten as food) insects could contain biological (of or relating to the products and operations ofapplied biology) and chemical contaminants (something that contaminates (to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc)), depending on how the large scale insect farms were managed.

With an estimated (to form an approximate judgment or opinion regarding the worth, amount, size, weight, etc.,of; calculate approximately) global population of 9 billion by 2050, using insects as a high quality source of protein as feed (for chickens, for example) could give a much needed food conversion rate (lower levels of initial energy and water required). Insect meat is also a quality source of fat, fibre, minerals and vitamins.

It is estimated that insects such as flies , moths, meal worms and crickets/locust



already form the diet of at least 2 billion people. There is still clearly a way to go until western cultures can adopt new foodstuffs (a substance used or capable of being used as nutriment) and a better understanding of the hazards  (an unavoidable danger or risk, even though often foreseeable)of eating insects is required for the next step.

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Decline Of Pollinators # Practice Reading

Pollinators ( an insect that carries pollen from one flower to another) contribute (to give to a common supply)to about 10% of the economic (involving or pertaining to one’s personal resources of money) value of crop production, but the contribution to human nutrition (the process by which organisms take in and utilize food material)by these pollinators is potentially much higher. This is because pollinators support the sexual reproduction (the state of being reproduced)(by transfer of gametes aka pollen) of crops high in essential nutrients that malnourished (poorly or improperly nourished)regions of the world rely on. This suggests that regions already facing food shortages and nutritional (providing nutrition) deficiencies (the quality or condition of being deficient; incompleteness or inadequacy)will suffer particularly hard from the global decline of bees and other pollinators.

Many of the crops dependent on animal vectors (In epidemiology, a vector is any agent (person,animal, or microorganism) that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism)to pollinate (convey pollen to or deposit pollen on (a stigma, ovule, flower, or plant) and so allow fertilization)(instead of wind) are the ones most rich in micro nutrients essential for human health. The recent decline of important pollinators, such as the domesticated (tame and kept as a pet or on a farm.)Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, has lead to concerns on the economic and now nutritional situation of crop production.  Dr Chaplin-Kramer and colleagues (a person with whom one works in a profession or business)set out to assess (the ​act of ​judging or ​deciding the ​amount, ​value, ​quality, or ​importance of something, or the ​judgment or ​decision that is made)the importance of pollinators to global health by determining which regions these crops are most critical for and what their micro-nutrient content is.

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Marine Food Chain # Practice Reading


Some of the words given above have been highlighted. Reading the passage, try to figure out the meaning of the words and answer them. If there are issues and you are not able to ind out the answer, below.

Meanwhile, warming of the oceans is causing water to thermally expand fueling  sea level rises caused by melting land ice. Research released in the US on Monday found that Antarctic ice is melting so fast that the whole continent could be at risk by 2100, with severe consequences for coastal communities.

Problems in the ocean’s food chains will be a direct concern for hundreds of millions of people who rely upon seafood for sustenance , medicines and income. The loss of coral reefs could also worsen coastal erosion (the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc)due to their role in protecting shorelines from storms and cyclones.

“These effects are happening now and will only be exacerbated in the next 50 to 100 years,” Nagelkerken said. “We are already seeing strange things such as the invasion of tropical species into temperate waters off south-eastern Australia. But if we reduce additional stressors such as overfishing and pollution, we can give species a better chance to adapt to climate change.”


warming – of or at a moderately high temperature; characterized by comparatively high temperature

thermally –caused by heat or temperature

expand to increase in extent, size, volume, scope, etc

fueling combustible matter used to maintain fire, as coal, wood, oil, or gas, in order to create heat or power

coastal –of, relating to, bordering on, or located near a coast

sustenance –means of sustaining life

coral reefs – a reef composed mainly of coral and other organic matter of which parts have solidified into limestone.

erosion – the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by theaction of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc

shorelines – the line where shore and water meet

exacerbated – to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill ,etc.)

invasion – an act or instance of invading or entering as an enemy, especially byan army

stressors – an activity, event, or other stimulus that causes stress.

Now, mark yourself and calculate how much you scored.


Beginning Of Universe # Practice Reading

So how was this unimaginably (difficult or impossible to imagine or comprehend) giant (a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.;major figure; legend) Universe created? For centuries (a period of 100 yearsscientists (an expert in science, especially one of the physical or natural sciences) thought the Universe always existed in a largely unchanged (not changed; unaltered) form, run like clockwork (the mechanism of a clock)thanks to the laws of physics. But a Belgian priest (a person whose office it is to perform religious rites, and especially to make sacrificial offerings) and scientist called George Lemaitre put forward another idea. In 1927, he proposed that the Universe began as a large, pregnant and primeval (of or relating to the first age or ages, especially of the world)atom, exploding (to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report, as boiler from excessive pressure of steam) and sending out the smaller atoms that we see today.

His idea went largely unnoticed. But in 1929 astronomer (an expert in astronomy; a scientific observer of the celestial bodies)Edwin Hubble discovered that the Universe isn’t static (showing little or no change)but is in fact expanding (to increase in extent, size, volume, scope, etc). If so, some scientists reasoned (based on reason) that if you rewound (to wind back to or toward the beginning; reverse)the Universe’s life then at some point it should have existed as a tiny, dense point. Critics (a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes) dismissed (to discard or reject)this: the celebrated (renowned, well known)astronomer Fred Hoyle sarcastically (marked by or given to using irony in order to mock or convey contempt) called this concept the “Big Bang” theory, a phrase that would later be adopted by its proponents (a person who puts forward a proposition or proposal).

Undeterred (persevering with something despite setbacks)by sceptics (a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions), scientists Ralph Alpher, George Gamow and Robert Herman predicted that if there had been a Big Bang, then a faint afterglow (the pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc)should linger (to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave)somewhere in the Universe, and we should in theory be able to detect it. To do so would require one of the greatest pieces of fortune (position in life as determined by wealth)in science.

Source : BBC


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