ACT Science : Biology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #651 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

In 1876, Robert Koch proved that anthrax was caused by a bacterium. Which of these the two theories does this proof best support?

Possible Answers:

Neither theory

Germ theory

Both theories

Miasma theory

Correct answer:

Germ theory

Explanation:

This proof supports germ theory as germ theory states that diseases come from viruses, bacterium, and other pathogens instead of a "vapor" that causes sickness.

Example Question #652 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

During an epidemic, many people within the same area get very sick with the same disease and the air smells bad. How might a proponent of germ theory explain this?

Possible Answers:

Sick people tend to smell bad as a natural way to warn other people to stay away.

All of these facts are in line with germ theory which supports a foul smelling vapor that spreads disease.

Germ theory has no explanation for the cause of illness, only the best way to treat it.

The bad smell may or may not be related to the illness which was likely caused by the spread of germs, not by the bad smelling air.

Correct answer:

The bad smell may or may not be related to the illness which was likely caused by the spread of germs, not by the bad smelling air.

Explanation:

Germ theory suggests that diseases are spread by pathogens. Only one answer choice correctly states this theory.

Germ theory does not believe in a vapor; that's miasma.

The other two answer choices are completely irrelevant.

Example Question #653 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

Which one of the following statements would both theories agree with?

Possible Answers:

Don't touch sick people.

Cleanliness is important for health.

There is no reasonable way to prevent getting sick.

Disease is spread by a vapor coming from dead things.

Correct answer:

Cleanliness is important for health.

Explanation:

Both theories would support the statement that cleanliness is key to health as propoents of the miasma theory work to keep the air in hospitals clean and fresh, while those who support germ theory would wish to prevent the spread of germs.

Example Question #654 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

In the 1st century AD, the Roman architect Vitruvius wrote about the dangers of breathing air from the swamp as it became a noxious mist. Which theory is he discussing?

Possible Answers:

Partially discussing both theories

A third theory which is not discussed here

Miasma theory

Germ theory

Correct answer:

Miasma theory

Explanation:

Vitruvius is talking about miasma theory as he is directly talking about the "bad smelling vapor" that causes disease.

Example Question #655 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

In 1851, there was a large outbreak of cholera in London localized around the River Thames. How might a supporter of miasma theory explain this?

Possible Answers:

Merchants from other cities have built up an immunity to cholera and are unwittingly transferring it to the inhabitants along the River Thames.

The rats that live along the riverbank carry cholera and are biting humans, thus spreading the disease.

There is some poisonous mist emanating from the river causing nearby inhabitants to become sick with cholera.

The water, which the people are drinking, is carrying the cholera that is infecting these people.

Correct answer:

There is some poisonous mist emanating from the river causing nearby inhabitants to become sick with cholera.

Explanation:

A supporter of miasma theory will always go back to there being a poisonous vapor that spreads illness. Only one answer choice suggests this.

Example Question #656 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

A certain brand of hand sanitzer claims to kill 99.9% of germs. If miasma theory were correct, how would this hand sanitizer affect the spread of illness?

Possible Answers:

There is insufficient data to be able to determine how strong of an effect it would have.

It would prevent almost all disease from being transmitted.

It would have no effect whatsoever.

It would have an intermittent effect, based upon the type of disease.

Correct answer:

It would have no effect whatsoever.

Explanation:

Miasma theory does not accept the belief of germs. Therefore, killing 99.9% of them would have no effect on the spread of disease, which miasma theory suggests to originate from a vapor.

Example Question #657 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

What reason does the supporter of miasma theory give for the spread of the bubonic plague through Europe?

Possible Answers:

The disease was spread through touching/direct contact.

The disease was actually an early attempt at biological warfare.

The disease was carried in the air.

The disease was spread by infected rats.

Correct answer:

The disease was carried in the air.

Explanation:

The theory states directly, "This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die."

Example Question #658 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

Patients in sterile environments tend to get healthier faster. What explanation would a supporter of germ theory give for this?

Possible Answers:

A sterile environment eliminates the vapor that causes disease.

A sterile environment helps in the creation of white blood cells which fight infection.

A sterile environment kills all viruses, bacteria, pathogens, thus killing the sources for infection.

A sterile environment has a psychological effect on the patient which helps them get better faster.

Correct answer:

A sterile environment kills all viruses, bacteria, pathogens, thus killing the sources for infection.

Explanation:

The supporter of germ theory would argue that diseases are transmitted through small microbes. The sterile environment would kill these germs, thus killing the sources for future infections.

Example Question #659 : Biology

In the 19th century, there were two competing views as to how diseases spread.

 

Miasma theory:

Miasma (Greek for pollution) is a poisonous vapor that comes from rotting carcasses or other diseased bodies. It carries particles of the decomposing matter in it and spreads illness. This is why the bubonic plague spread so quickly in Europe: the air itself was foul-smelling and polluted with disease which caused everyone in the locale to become sick and die. It also explains why epidemics tend to originate in a certain area and infect everyone within that area -- they are all breathing in this noxious gas and getting the same disease. In hospitals, we need to ensure that the air is fresh smelling and clean so as to avoid all patients breathing in this miasma and all getting sick.

 

Germ theory:

Disease is spread through small microbial organisms called germs. These germs, which can be bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, should be able to be isolated from an infected host and then should no longer exist in the host's body when the host becomes healthy. Germs can move from one body to another through direct or indirect contact -- they can move through touching, spreading of fluids (coughing, sneezing, etc.) and potentially air, but not exclusively through the air.

An experiment is performed in which all instruments are doused with acid (which will theoretically kill germs) before performing medical procedures. If germ theory is correct, which of the following will be the result?

Possible Answers:

A decrease in infections after these procedures.

An increase in infections after these procedures.

It is impossible to determine the effect as this experiment would not prove or disprove either theory.

No effect whatsoever as disease as transmitted by vapor.

Correct answer:

A decrease in infections after these procedures.

Explanation:

Germ theory states that diseases are transmitted by germs. If the instruments are sanitized (and germs killed), then the rate of infections should logically decrease if germ theory is correct.

Example Question #660 : Biology

Vaccinations have become a controversial topic in the United States. Currently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all vaccines. The federal government does not mandate vaccinations for any individual; however, all states require vaccinations for children entering public school. There are several types of vaccines—live attenuated vaccines, inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, toxoid vaccines, and conjugate vaccines, just to name a few. All of these vaccines have the shared purpose of exposing the host body to antigens of a specific disease. When the body receives the antigens, the immune system is activated, remembering the antigens. The next time the individual is exposed to the disease, the body will remember the antigen and have a better probability of not getting infected. Two scientists below discuss their belief on vaccines.

Scientist 1

Vaccines have saved many lives. The risks of not being vaccinated far outweigh the risks of adverse vaccine reactions. Reports linking autism to vaccines have been evaluated by the CDC, which states there is no scientific link between autism and vaccines. The second leading cancer killer in women is cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against the two most common strains causing cancer. This is an example of a vaccine that does much more good than bad. Vaccines also reduce the amount of money spent on healthcare, because the preventative cost of a vaccine is much cheaper than the cost of treating an infected person. The only time a vaccine should not be administered is if the chance of the individual coming into contact with the disease is so rare it is not worth the potential of adverse reactions.

 Scientist 2

Many vaccines nowadays are extraneous. Vaccines for diseases like whooping cough and scarlet fever were once necessary but now outdated. Modern updates on hygiene, waste management, and water filtration have resulted in significantly decreased chances of infection. In addition, diseases like rotavirus have an infection period of a few days, and the main symptom is dehydration. Modern medicine can easily treat severe dehydration, and the risk of rotavirus infection is very slim; therefore, the results of infection are far milder than the results of an adverse reaction. Vaccines for children can cause extremely dangerous adverse reactions. This includes anaphylactic shock, paralysis, and death. While scientists have not been able to conclusively prove this, many believe that these reactions are related to the age of the host and the lack of a developed immune systemor neural network. Vaccines suppress the immune system, which can lead to autoimmune disorders. In addition, vaccines can congest the lymphatic system with proteins molecules from the vaccines; therefore, I would recommend requirements for vaccination to take place at a later stage in a child’s development.

Scientist 1 mentions the HPV vaccine in order to: 

Possible Answers:

mention a rare disease with mild symptoms

prove his point that vaccines do more good than bad

mention an example of a disease that does not require a vaccination

mention an exception to his belief that everyone should get vaccinations.

prove his point that vaccines do more bad than good

Correct answer:

prove his point that vaccines do more good than bad

Explanation:

Scientist 1 discusses HPV as the second leading cause of cancer in women. He states the HPV vaccine protects against the two most popular strains.

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