WELL—do they or don' t they? For years, controversy has raged over whether the electromagnetic fields produced by power lines could cause cancer especially leukemia in young children. But in Britain last week confusion reached new heights.
One team from Bristol announced that it had evidence to back a controversial but plausible theory which would explain how power lines might cause cancer (electric fields attract airborne pollutants). Only to be followed by the release of results by another group in London which suggested there is nothing to worry about. What is going on?
Actually, the confusion may be more apparent than real. There can be no doubt that the effects of power lines on water droplets, pollutants and naturally occurring radon uncovered by the Bristol team are real and interning. But to suggest that they have anything to do with leukemia in children is premature. The extra exposure to pollution for a child living near power lines would be tiny, and it is not obvious why radon, a gas normally associated with lung cancer would cause leukemia in children.
The second study, which drew reassuring blank, is the world's biggest ever probe of the statistical link between childhood cancers and magnetic fields of the sort produced by power lines and electrical appliances. It is one of several recent studies that have failed to find a link.
Unlike earlier research, these newer studies involved going into homes to measure the electro-magnetic fields. The fields they measured included input from major power lines if they were.
Which is not to Say the research is perfectly. Critics argue that Britain' s childhood cancer study, for example, has not yet taken into account the surges in exposure that might come from, say, switching appliances on and off. And some people might wonder why measurements of the electric fields that are also produced by power lines did not figure in last week's study. But neither criticism amounts to a fatal blow. Electrical fields cannot penetrate the body significantly, for example.
A more serious concern is whether the British research provides an all-clear signal for such countries as the US where power lines carry more current and therefore produce higher magnetic fields. Pedants (书呆子)would conclude that it doesn't. But these counties will not have long to wait for answers from a major Japanese study.
In Britain the latest epidemiological study can be taken as the final word on the matter. If the electromagnetic fields in British homes can in some unforeseen way increase the risk of cancer, we can now be as certain as science allows that the increase is too tiny to measure.
76. Both the question "Well—do they or don't they?" and the question "What is going on?" suggest ________ .
A. the high incidence of Leukemia
B. the advent of bewilderment among people
C. the warning of the worsening air pollution
D. the tense relation between Bristol and London
77. What would the author say of the results of the first study?
A. Enlightening. B. Insignificant.
C. Reassuring. D. Apparent.
78. What can be suggested from the results of the second study?
A. There does exist a danger zone near power lines.
B. There is much to be improved in terms of design.
C. There is nothing to worry about as to power lines.
D. There is no link between the first and second study.
79. It can be inferred from the passage that the British outcomes ________ .
A. are expected to convince nobody but pedants
B. were found to have left much room for doubt
C. could have implications in such countries as the US
D. will be consistent with the Japanese ones in the near future
80. To conclude, the author ________ .
A. reassures us of the reliability of the latest research in Britain
B. asks for improved measurements for such an investigation
C. points out the drawbacks of the latest research in Britain
D. urges further investigations on the issue
76. B 第二段提到One team from Bristol宣称他们有证据可以解释输电线可以怎样致癌，但紧接着another group in London公布了他们的研究结果：这没什么可担心的。这两种矛盾的说法只能导致人们的困惑。题干中的两个问题正是他们困惑的表现。bewilderment 迷惑，困惑，糊涂。Power lines输电线。
77. B 第三段作者对Bristol team的研究结果提出了质疑：The extra exposure to pollution for a child living near power lines would be tiny，and it is not obvious why radon…would cause leukemia in children. 额外接受污染对生活在输电线附近的孩子的影响是微小的，氡会导致儿童患白血病的原因也不明显。即作者认为第一组研究，也就是Bristol team的研究是无意义的。
78. C 第四段提到第二组研究failed to find a link between childhood cancers and magnetic helds of the sort produced by power lines and electrical appliances. 他们找不到儿童期癌症与输电线和电气设备产牛的磁场之间的联系。这就暗示着不必担心输电线会产生什么危害。
79. D 第七段提到Pedants(书呆了)would conclude that it doesn't. 即Pedants对英国的研究提出质疑，排除A项。山文章最后一段可看出作者对英国的研究持肯定态度，排除B 项。第七段还提到一个更受关注的问题是英国的调查是否会为像美国这些输电线输送的电流更大，因此也就会产生更高的电磁场的国家提供all-clear signal，但作者对此 问题并没有给出明确的回答，因此C项说法错误。由第七段最后一句话But these counties will not have long to wait for answers from a major Japanese study. 可推知答案选 D项。
80. A 最后一段作者提到英国最新的关于流行病学的研究可以作为此问题的结论。如果电磁场能增加致癌的危险性，那我们现在也可以肯定这种增加小到无法衡量的程度。即作者确信英国的最新调查的可靠性。