Reading Comprehension Quiz

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for April 1.

In 1928 Alexander Fleming left a culture plate smeared with staphylococcus bacteria on his lab bench while he went on a two-week holiday. When he returned, he noticed a clear halo surrounding the bacteria. Unknown to him, a spore called penicillium notatum had drifted in from a mycology lab one floor below. Later, as the temperature in the room rose, the bacteria grew, covering the entire plate except for the area surrounding the penicillium. Seeing that halo was Fleming's "Eureka!" moment. He deduced that the mold must have released a substance that inhibited the growth of the bacteria.

In 1939 a team of scientists at Oxford were able to make penicillin widely available. Pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and many wound and childbirth infections suddenly became treatable.

1. Fleming's discovery became widely known because of
A. the work of a team of scientists at Oxford.
B. the culture plate in his lab.
C. the inhibition of the growth of bacteria.
D. a mold that drifted up from a mycology lab.
2. Mycology is
A. the study of germs.
B. the study of micro-organisms.
C. the study of botany.
D. the study of fungi.
3. Which disease is not mentioned?
A. scarlet fever.
B. cold virus.
C. syphilis.
D. pneumonia.
4. Some staphylococcus bacteria can cause
A. syphilis.
B. food poisoning.
C. pneumonia.
D. diphtheria.
The information comes from an article by David Ho at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-A..........2-D..........3-B..........4-B
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at