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Basking sharks are becoming extinct. There are now urgent calls for the sharks to be given international protection. They feed on plankton and grow as long as a coach. As many as 5000 are killed each year worldwide: they are harpooned for their fins and tails, which are cut off and exported to Eastern Asia for soup. The mutilated sharks, which are harmless to people despite weighing up to two tonnes and growing up to 35feet long, are dumped and sink to the seabed to die. Catching them in British waters is banned and protection was further tightened here, but there is still a quota for 400 tonnes of shark livers in other EU waters.
Satellites allow the sharks to be tracked all over the world and give a picture of the basking sharks’ activities underwater. To fix satellite equipment, two boards, recently bought by the Basking Shark Society, are being used. Interest in the society is extraordinary. The club has members throughout the world, including the United States and Australia. Basking sharks are worth more alive than dead. Iceland used to kill many whales but reduced its activities and is now one of the world’s biggest whale watching centers. Minds can be changed.
The satellites are used for …
: killing sharks
: tracking the shark’s activities
: catching sharks
: protecting sharks from poachers
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Bacteria are tiny one celled plants, without green coloring matter (chlorophyll), that can be seen only under a compound microscope that magnifies them from 600 to 1200 times. Bacteria come in many different sizes but in three principal shapes: rod or pencil shaped, the bacilli, which produce diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy; spherical or dot shaped, the cocci; and spiral or comma shaped, such as the corkscrew spirochete of syphilis or the cholera vibrio.
The cocci come in pairs (diplococci), strings or chains (streptococci), or clusters, like grapes (staphylococci). Typical diplococci are the gonococcus, cause of gonorrhea, and the pneumococcus, cause of pneumonia. Streptococci are responsible for “step” infections, such as the sore throat that is often a forerunner of rheumatic fever. Staphylococci are often present in boils.
The discovery that bacteria cause disease was one of the greatest of all advances in medical science. Chief credit for the germ theory of disease goes to the French chemist, Louis Pasteur, the German country doctor, Robert Koch. Their lifesaving work was done in the last third of the 19th century.
Tiny one celled plants, without green coloring matter, that can be seen only under a compound microscope are ###
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Each person in the UK produces around a third of a ton of household rubbish, or domestic waste per annum. This waste does not just disappear once your dustbin has been emptied, but has to be disposed of. So, what happens to it? Some of our domestic waste is burned in incinerators and some of it is recycled. 90% of our waste, however, goes into landfill sites.
On the face of it, landfill sites appear to be the ideal solution to the problem of waste disposal. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. As domestic waste rots down, it produces a liquid called "Leachate", which is difficult to control. On sites with permeable bases, it seeps down and contaminates the surrounding land and water table. Landfill sites also produce the gases carbon dioxide and methane, which contribute to global warming. Methane is also an explosive gas which is therefore potentially very dangerous.
Reductions needed in the amount of waste which goes into incinerators and landfill sites can be brought about by adhering to the maximum: reduce – reuse – recycle. Recycling cannot take place if people are not willing to separate their refuse: place glass, paper, plastic, metal, etc., into separate bags and dispose them separately.
Some of our domestic waste is burned in incinerators and some of it is …
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