English language Quiz 11, based on Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension Quiz 11

Reading Comprehension is one topic that commonly appears in the English language or the verbal ability section of all major Government exams. Reading Comprehension is one of the tricky topics because it can be time-consuming. In this article, we have come up with the Reading Comprehension Quiz with a detailed explanation. All types of Reading Comprehension Questions for prelims and mains are included in this Reading Comprehension Quiz. This Reading Comprehension Quiz is completely FREE. Candidates should thoroughly go through this Reading Comprehension Quiz in order to enhance their preparation for upcoming exams.

Directions (1-6): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

We generate electric power through hydroelectric plants, from coal and fossil fuels, or nuclear plants. Each method has its downside – be it water shortage or inter-state disputes, fouling the environment with pollution dust and greenhouse gases, or safety issues with radioactive damage. Can we at all have a pollution-free and nature-friendly power plant?

Biology appears to suggest a way. A group of researchers at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, led by Dr. Marjolein Helder, has hit upon a method that generates electricity from living plants and the microbes that live beneath them in the soil, where the plants drop their roots. The plant of course does photosynthesis, using sunlight, water and atmospheric carbon dioxide, generating food in the form of carbohydrates and oxygen for our breathing. The microbes in the soil use some of this organic material coming out of the plants into the ground, metabolise them and, in the process, generate carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions and electrons.

While the plant above the ground does photochemistry, the bacteria beneath do electrochemistry, generating positive and negative ions. What Dr. Helder and colleagues have done is to place positive and negative electrodes in appropriate positions and obtain an electric current, just as we do with batteries. This method of producing electricity is through what is termed as plant microbial fuel cells (PMFC).

Look at the simplicity of it. The method is completely natural and environment-friendly, needs no externally added material and is part of a cyclic process in nature. But how much electricity is produced with such PMFC? It depends on the size. A small 50 cm x 50 cm plot of a garden is estimated to produce 5 volts of electricity, while a 100 square metre garden gives enough electric power to charge a cell phone or to light up several LED light bulbs. Indeed the Wageningen group has lit up their Atlas building with LED bulbs, using PMFCs, and a mobile phone charging station in a place at the nearby town Tilburg.

Theory suggests that one should be able to generate 3.2 watts of electric power per square meter (3.2W/m2), using PMFCs. The best level obtained so far in practice is but a sixteenth of it, namely, 220 mW/m2. Thus, improvement in efficiency needs to be done, both by adding such microbes in the soil which perform better, and by enhancing the area by miles and miles of grass lawns, farm lands and focus on paddy fields and similar acreages. These will also bring the cost–benefit ratio to acceptable proportions.

Another dramatic advance, this one directly from the plants themselves rather than the microbes underneath, has come from Dr. Michael Strano of MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA. This is an audacious idea, namely, “how to make plants glow with light”! We know that a plant captures light, and using this, converts water molecules and atmospheric carbon dioxide into sugar. What Strano’s group aims to do is to make plants not just absorb but also emit light and, indeed, glow such that we may use such plants as a table lamp to help read a book in a dark room! In other words, make a plant glow as a firefly does.

Taking watercress and spinach as experimental plants, his group first packaged luciferase ( an enzyme which emits light in fireflies) in nanoparticles made of silica. Then, they packed luciferin in another set of nanoparticles made of the polymer PLGA. Each of these nanoparticles carried a tag that would allow it to go to one specific part of the plant cells. Then they also devised a third nanoparticle system, packed with molecules called co-enzyme A, which was to remove a product of the luciferin reaction, which inhibits or stops the reaction from proceeding.

They now immersed the plant in water, added the three sets of nanoparticles, and applied high pressure so that these will enter and position themselves in appropriate places inside the plants. Now, the reaction proceeded and the plant emitted feeble glow, a Eureka moment, which lasted for about 3 hours!

  1. Which of the following is the most suitable title for the passage?

(a) green energy

(b) Eureka moment

(c) electricity generating microbes

(d) new dawn of power generation

(e) generating electricity from plants and microbes

Answer & Explanation
Ans. e

Exp. a title should represent the theme of essay, give the idea about the topic which it talks hence option ‘e’ is the correct answer choice.

Option (a) cannot be the answer as green energy has many branches like solar energy, wind energy, biogas etc and this article is not talking about any of them instead it is only talking about electricity generation from microbes and plants.

Option (b)Eureka moment cannot be the answer, though it means a discovery but it doesn’t tell us anything else about the theme or idea of the passage.

Option (c) cannot be the answer as it tells about the electricity generating microbes but has excluded glowing plants completely which was talked in the second part of the article.

Option (d) cannot be the answer as it doesn’t tell us anything else about the theme or idea of the passage.

  1. What are the shortcomings in traditional ways of producing electricity?

(I) Risk of nuclear radiation

(II) Global warming because of green-house gases

(III) Repetitive events of landslides

 

(a) only (III)

(b) only (I)

(c) both (I) and (II)

(d) all (I), (II) and (III)

(e) none of these

Answer & Explanation
Ans. c

Exp. Statements (I) and (II) are clearly mentioned in 1st paragraph while there is no mention of statement (II) anywhere in the passage.

  1. The microbes in the soil use the organic material obtained from the plants and produce the following:-

(I) oxygen

(II) electron

(III) carbohydrates

(IV) ions

(V) neutron

(a) only (I), (II), (III) and (IV)

(b) only (II) and (IV)

(c) only (II), (IV) and (V)

(d) all of the above

(e) none of these

Answer & Explanation
Ans. b

Exp. The microbes produce carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions and electrons while about oxygen and carbohydrates produced by the plants and neutron is not mentioned in the passage hence option (b) is the correct answer choice.

  1. What are the ways by which improvements can be brought in the efficiency of PMFC?

(I) by adding microbes in the soil with better performing capabilities.

(II) by increasing the area used for power generation through PMFC.

(III) by bringing in more government support

(a) only (I)

(b) only (I) and (II)

(c) only (II) and (III)

(d) only (I) and (III)

(e) all (I) (II) and (III)

Answer & Explanation
Ans. b

Exp. Ways to increase the efficiency of PMFCs is mentioned in para 5 but there’s no mention of ‘government funding anywhere in the passage’ hence option (b) is the correct answer choice.

  1. What was the purpose of co-enzyme A?

(a) to position themselves in appropriate places inside the plant so that the plant emitted light.

(b) allow polymer PLGA to go to one specific part of plant cells.

(c) to act as a catalyst in the luciferin reaction.

(d) to remove a product which stops the reaction from processing further.

(e) to stop the process from over-reacting.

Answer & Explanation
Ans. d

Exp. Mentioned in the 2nd last line of 2nd last paragraph.

 

  1. What is the writing style of the author?

(a) informative

(b) analytical

(c) factual

(d) directive

(e) narrative

Answer & Explanation
Ans. a

Exp. The writer is providing information about two new forms of green energy and details about them hence the article is ‘informative’.

Informative: providing or conveying information

Analytical: logic of a proposition that is necessarily true independent of fact (author is not analyzing things, he is just giving the information therefore it cannot be the answer)

Factual: existing in fact (though the author is giving facts about new ways of providing energy but facts does not always mean providing information, they can be sometimes non-informative; ‘informative’ suits better to the tone of passage as he is giving information)

Direction (7): Which of the following alternatives among the five options provides the most opposite meaning of the word given in BOLD as used in the passage?

  1. GENERATE

(a) propagate

(b) halt

(c) initiate

(d) reproduce

(e) tyranny

Answer & Explanation
Ans. b

Exp. halt: bring to an abrupt stop.

While the passage is talking about producing electricity, ‘halt’ means to stop something hence option (b) is the correct answer choice.

Directions (8-10): Which of the following alternatives among the five options provide the most similar meaning of the word given in BOLD as used in the passage?

  1. TAG

(a) mark

(b) logo

(c) quotation
(d) designation

(e) appraisal

Answer & Explanation
Ans. d

Exp. designation: the action of choosing a place for a special purpose or giving it a special status.

According to the passage the nanoparticles carried a tag (a specific address) that would allow them to go to a specific part of plant cells or we can say “they were designated for a specific part of plant cells” hence option (d) is the most viable choice.

Mark: a line, figure, or symbol made as an indication or record of something (it is also a synonym of ‘tag’ but in the passage ‘tag’ is conveying about some specific address not an indication therefore it doesn’t fit in the context of the passage).

Logo: a symbol or design adopted by an organization to identify its products (it is also a synonym of ‘tag’ but in the passage ‘tag’ is conveying about some specific address not a design therefore it doesn’t fit in the context of the passage).

  1. ACREAGE

(a) meadow

(b) territory

(c) property

(d) terrain

(e) holding

Answer & Explanation
Ans. a

Exp. meadow: a piece of grassland, especially one used for hay. The passage is talking about farmlands or grasslands of paddy etc. hence it fits in the context of the passage therefore (a) is the answer.

Option (b), (c), (d) and (e) all are synonyms for land but they do not mean ‘farmland’ hence they don’t fit in the context of the passage.

  1. INDEED

(a) naturally

(b) slightly

(c) moderately

(d) by no means

(e) questionably

Answer & Explanation
Ans. a

Exp. indeed: used to emphasize a description; in fact

Naturally: as may be expected (as Wageningen group was working on PMFCs so it was naturally expected from them to lit up their Atlas building with LED bulbs, using PMFCs). We can also say “In fact the Wageningen group has lit up their Atlas building with LED bulbs”.  Hence (a) fits in the context of the passage and is the correct answer choice. Options (b), (c), (d) and (e) are antonyms of ‘indeed’.

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