Short Passages Comprehension - XII

Please study carefully the comprehension given below. The passages is followed by a set of questions choose the best answer to each question.

If life exists on Mars, it is most likely to be in the form bacteria buried deep in the planet’s permafrost or lichens growing within rocks, say scientists from NASA. There might even be fossilised Martian algae locked up in ancient lake beds, waiting to be found. Christopher Mckay of NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California told the AAAS that exobiologists, who look for life on other planets, should look for clues among the life forms of the Earth’s ultra-cold regions, where conditions are similar to those on Mars. “Lichens, for example are found within some Antarctic rocks, just beneath the surface where sunlight can still reach them. The rock protects the lichen from cold and absorbs water providing enough for the lichen’s need”, said Mckay.
Bacteria have also been found in 3-million-year-old permafrost dug up from Siberia. If there are any bacteria alive on Mars today, they would have had to have survived from the time before the planet cooled more than 3 billion years ago. Nevertheless, McKay is optimistic, “It may be possible that bacteria frozen into the permafrost at the Martian South Pole may be viable. ”
McKay said, “Algae are found in Antarctic lakes with permanently frozen surfaces. Although no lakes are thought to exist on Mars, they might have existed long ago. If so, the dried-out Martian lake beds may contain the fossilised remains of algae. ” “ On Earth, masses of microscopic algae form large, layered structures known as stromatolites, which survive as fossils on lake beds and the putative”, Martian said, Jack Farmer, one of McKay’s colleagues. The researchers are compiling a list of promising Martian lake beds to be photographed from spacecraft”, said farmer. Those photographs could help to select sites for landers that would search for signs of life, past or present. ” “If we find algae on Mars, I would say the Universe is lousy with algae, “McKay said. “Intelligence would be another question. ”

Ques 1. The passage is primarily concerned with
(a)the possibility of life on Mars
(b) selecting sites for landers on Mars
(c) research on Mars
(d) Findings of Christopher McKay on Mars

Ques 2. Lichens survive in the extreme cold conditions of Antarctica on Earth for all the following reasons, except :
(a) some Antarctic rocks protect lichens beneath their surface
(b) bacteria in the Antarctic frost protect lichen from the residual cold after the rock absorbs water
(c) sunlight penetrates the surface of the Antarctic rock where lichen grows
(d) the Antarctic rocks protect the lichen from cold by absorbing water and leaving enough for the lichen’s needs

Ques 3. Which of the following statements is not true?
(a) If any bacteria are alive today on Mars, they must have survived from the time before the planet cooled
(b) Space photographs of Martian craters should reveal to the explorers signs of life there
(c) Bacteria frozen into permafrost at the Martian South Pole may be viable
(d) On digging up, more than 3 million years old Siberian permafrost has revealed bacteria

Ques 4. The most primitive forms of life likely to exist on Mars are all the following except
(a) villus and spare
(b) bacteria
(c) algae
(d) lichen

Ques 5. Exobiologists might find on Mars algae similar to stromatolites on earth because :
(a) on our planet stromatolites are formed by microscopic algae
(b) martian lake beds may contain fossilised remains of algae similar to stromatolites on earth
(c) there is evidence that photosynthesis which takes place in Earth’s algae can be found in Martian algae on be found in Martian algae too
(d) All of the above

Answers :
(1) (a), (2) (b), (3) (b), (4) (a), (5) (d).