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IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength.

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength.

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength.

 

A. Of all the Stories of art influencing science, tensegrity is one of the most far-reaching. On one level, tensegrity is a system of creating architecture or sculptures involving rods in compression and wires in tension. it was invented by sculptor Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College, the hotbed of international modernism, in 1948. At the time, Snelson was taking part in a summer school with the engineer Buckminster Fuller, who pioneered the idea of applying geometric forms to architectural and engineering innovation.

B. Using an abstract sculpture as a starting point, Snelson then added tension wires to the free-floating members. Fuller encouraged him and when they met up again in I949, Snelson had perfected a concept in which stiff rods can be supported without touching a network of wires. Although “tensegrity’ (from ‘tensional integrity`) was coined by Fuller, the idea was entirely Snelson’s, and he went on to make many more tensegrity sculptures, the most famous of which is the sixty-foot-high Needle Tower (1968), now at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC.
C. Basic tensegrity structures can be made from three drinking straws, six paper clips, and nine rubber bands. When the structure is wired up, you can see that none of the rods actually touch; they `re held in equilibrium by the rubber bands. Even this simplest model has very interesting properties. Although drinking straws are weak, with a tendency to buckle, the tension bands hold them in such a way that the compressive force is always directed straight down the tube and buckling doesn`t happen. The first thing you notice if you make one is that it is immensely fiddly to assemble — pieces keep falling apart — but once the last band is secured, you can fling the object around, squash it, and it seems indestructible. The structure isn`t symmetrical in its properties. In one direction, it squashes flat and bounces back. In the other direction, it resists the pressure. If you wanted to create versatile 3D structures out of nothing much, tensegrity would take some beating.
D. It is strange that architects and engineers didn`t discover the principle before 1948 since the benefits of structures held in tension over traditional building techniques had been known since the invention of the suspension bridge in 1796. And the great maverick biologist D`Arcy Thompson in On Growth and Form (19l?) had extensively analyzed the principles of tension and compression both in nature and engineering.Kenneth Snelson believed that tensegrity was a pure art and that it would never be really useful architecturally. It took some time to prove him wrong, but in the 1980s, tensegrity architecture began to appear. The key protagonist was David Geiger and the first important structure was his Gymnastics Hall at the Korean Olympics in 1988.
E. Five years later, its significance in quite a different field became apparent when scientists described the tensegrity model of cell structure, and this is where the principle is now making waves. What is it that prevents living things from collapsing to a blob of jelly on the floor? Unsurprisingly, it is likely to be tensegrity. For a long time, biologists ignored the mechanical properties of cells: they were just `elastic bags` full of interesting chemicals. But there has to be an architecture; tissue is tough, resilient stuff that keeps its shape.
F. The human body is certainly a tensegrity structure; it consists of 206 bones — tensegrity rods — that do not touch, held together by tendons and muscles. And the tension of living cells seems to be maintained by tensegrity structures within the cell; microfilaments play the role of the rubber bands and stiff microtubules are the rods. Donald Ingber, at the Harvard Medical School, researchers how cells move and stick to each other, and he believes that tensegrity offers ‘the most unified model of cell mechanics’. It explains some basic properties of cells very well.

G. If cells are placed on a microscope slide, they flatten under gravity. When cells are surrounded by other cells, proteins called integrins attach one cell to another at specific locations. These act as tensegrity wires, pulling the cells taut in all directions. When the integrin network is disrupted, the cells sag. Whether or not the cell is a tensegrity structure is still controversial, but in a series of recent papers, Ingber and his team have been gradually picking off the objections with detailed studies of cell structure. For the lay observer, pictures of a cell showing triangular structures resembling a geodesic dome are highly suggestive of tensegrity.
H. It has been a long road since Black Mountain College in 1948, but it all comes back to Kenneth Snelson and his sculpture. Once asked what he would save from a fire in his office, Donald Ingber replied: `The tensegrity model made by Kenneth Snelson, a gift from the artist himself.

Questions 1-3:
According to the information in the Reading Passage, when were the following made?
A. the 18th century
B. the first half of the 20th century
C. the second half of the 20th century
D. the 21st century
Write the correct letter A, B, C, or D next to questions 1-3.
1. an advance in biology based on tensegrity principles
2. a work of art based on tensegrity principles
3. a building based on tensegrity principles
Questions 4-10:
The Reading Passage has eight paragraphs, A-H. Which paragraph contains the Following information? NB You may use any letter more than once.
4. an error made by the inventor of tensegrity
5. the branch of science on which tensegrity is currently having the greatest impact
6. the writer’s surprise that tensegrity remained unknown in engineering
7. an account of how a sculpture was made
8. an unresolved issue concerning the nature of individual cell structure
9. an explanation of why a basic tensegrity structure keeps its shape
10. an analogy between components of a tensegrity model and a skeleton
Questions 11-14:
Answer the questions with words from the Reading Passage. Write NO MORE THAN
THREE WORDS for each answer.
11. Who first used the word ‘tensegrity’?
12. Which parts of the tensegrity model prevent the straws losing their shape?
13. Which parts of a cell hold its microtubules in place?
14. What substances join cells to each other?

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ANSWERS

1 . C

2 . B

3 . D

4 . D

5 . E

6 . D

Sponsers

7 . B

8 . G

9 . C

10 . F

11 . (BUCKMINSTER) FULLER

12 . TENSION BANDS / RUBBER BANDS

13 . MICROFILAMENTS

14 . (PROTEINS CALLED) INTEGRINS

 

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

IELTSDATA READING PASSAGE 47-Tower of Strength

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