GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: 90年

(This passage is excerpted from an article that was published in 1982.)

Warm-blooded animals have elaborate physiological controls to maintain constant body temperature (in humans, 37°C). Why then during sickness should temperature rise, apparently increasing stress on the infected organism? It has long been known that the level of serum iron in animals falls during infection. Garibaldi first suggested a relationship between fever and iron. He found that microbial synthesis of siderophores-substances that bind iron-in bacteria of the genus Salmonella declined at environmental temperatures above 37°C and stopped at40.3°C. Thus, fever would make it more difficult for an infecting bacterium to acquire iron and thus to multiply. Cold-blooded animals were used to test this hypothesis because their body temperature can be controlled in the laboratory. Kluger reported that of iguanas infected with the potentially lethal bacterium A. hydrophilia, more survived at temperatures of 42°C than at 37°C, even though healthy animals prefer the lower temperature. When animals at 42°C were injected with an (30) iron solution, however, mortality rates increased significantly. Research to determine whether similar phenomena occur in warm-blooded animals is sorely needed.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

The passage is primarily concerned with attempts to determine

  • A the role of siderophores in the synthesis of serum iron
  • B new treatments for infections that are caused by A. hydrophilia
  • C the function of fever in warm-blooded animals
  • D the mechanisms that ensure constant body temperature
  • E iron utilization in cold-blooded animals

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