ACT Science : How to find research summary in biology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #91 : How To Find Research Summary In Biology

     An agronomist is investigating the effect that different types of soil have on the growth and yield of maize. Sweet corn (Zea mays) is planted in loamy soil of varying proportions of sand, silt, and clay. Growth is measured in inches after 15 days, again after 50 days and finally at 100 days. Dry mass of the yield is measured in grams at the same day intervals.

     Four experiments are conducted such that the average amount of sunlight per day is 15 hours at 75° F for the duration of each experiment. All plants where watered at exactly an inch of water per week. All plots where the sweet corn was grown were equally fertilized at about 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

     Weed growth and pest attack was mitigated by assiduous attentiveness and insecticide.

Experiment 1

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 1

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            84                                             50                                 9

            94                                             100                               45

 

Experiment 2

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 2

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            8                                              15                                 0

            91                                             50                                 8

            101                                           100                               65

 

Experiment 3

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 3

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            86                                             50                                 8

            96                                             100                               40

 

Experiment 4

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 4

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            9                                              15                                 0

            90                                             50                                 6

            98                                             100                               45

By looking at the results of the four experiments, it is reasonable to conclude that __________

Possible Answers:

There is a linear growth in height of sweet corn from day 0 to day 100.

The sweet corn was insufficiently wattered over the 100 day period.

The lack of use of fertilizer adversely affected the height of the plants.

Yield at day 50 cannot be used to predict yield at day 100.

Correct answer:

Yield at day 50 cannot be used to predict yield at day 100.

Explanation:

At day 50, the yield of the plants range from 6 to 9 grams, however, experiments 1 and 3 had the highest dry mass yield at day 50, but experiments 2 and 4 had the highest dry mass yield at day 100.

Example Question #92 : How To Find Research Summary In Biology

     An agronomist is investigating the effect that different types of soil have on the growth and yield of maize. Sweet corn (Zea mays) is planted in loamy soil of varying proportions of sand, silt, and clay. Growth is measured in inches after 15 days, again after 50 days and finally at 100 days. Dry mass of the yield is measured in grams at the same day intervals.

     Four experiments are conducted such that the average amount of sunlight per day is 15 hours at 75° F for the duration of each experiment. All plants where watered at exactly an inch of water per week. All plots where the sweet corn was grown were equally fertilized at about 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

     Weed growth and pest attack was mitigated by assiduous attentiveness and insecticide.

Experiment 1

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 1

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            84                                             50                                 9

            94                                             100                               45

 

Experiment 2

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 2

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            8                                              15                                 0

            91                                             50                                 8

            101                                           100                               65

 

Experiment 3

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 3

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            86                                             50                                 8

            96                                             100                               40

 

Experiment 4

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 4

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            9                                              15                                 0

            90                                             50                                 6

            98                                             100                               45

Which loamy soil combination yielded the tallest plant at day 15?

Possible Answers:

Sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20%.

Sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40%.

Sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33%

Sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40%.

Correct answer:

Sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40%.

Explanation:

Loamy soil of combination sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% resulted in a sweet corn hieght of 9 inches by day 15: the highest of all.

Example Question #93 : How To Find Research Summary In Biology

     An agronomist is investigating the effect that different types of soil have on the growth and yield of maize. Sweet corn (Zea mays) is planted in loamy soil of varying proportions of sand, silt, and clay. Growth is measured in inches after 15 days, again after 50 days and finally at 100 days. Dry mass of the yield is measured in grams at the same day intervals.

     Four experiments are conducted such that the average amount of sunlight per day is 15 hours at 75° F for the duration of each experiment. All plants where watered at exactly an inch of water per week. All plots where the sweet corn was grown were equally fertilized at about 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

     Weed growth and pest attack was mitigated by assiduous attentiveness and insecticide.

Experiment 1

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 1

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            84                                             50                                 9

            94                                             100                               45

 

Experiment 2

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 2

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            8                                              15                                 0

            91                                             50                                 8

            101                                           100                               65

 

Experiment 3

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 3

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            86                                             50                                 8

            96                                             100                               40

 

Experiment 4

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 4

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            9                                              15                                 0

            90                                             50                                 6

            98                                             100                               45

What is a possible source of significant error in this experiment?

Possible Answers:

Weed growth and pest attack may not have been mitigated equally in each experiment.

Planting maize at soil temperature higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.

The use of fertilizer may have adversely affected the yield of the plants.

Hieght was measured in cm and converted to inches.

Correct answer:

Weed growth and pest attack may not have been mitigated equally in each experiment.

Explanation:

There is no insight given into how weeds and pests are mitigated; therefore, it may not be reasonable to assume that weeds and pests were adequately mitigated in each experiment.

Example Question #94 : How To Find Research Summary In Biology

     An agronomist is investigating the effect that different types of soil have on the growth and yield of maize. Sweet corn (Zea mays) is planted in loamy soil of varying proportions of sand, silt, and clay. Growth is measured in inches after 15 days, again after 50 days and finally at 100 days. Dry mass of the yield is measured in grams at the same day intervals.

     Four experiments are conducted such that the average amount of sunlight per day is 15 hours at 75° F for the duration of each experiment. All plants where watered at exactly an inch of water per week. All plots where the sweet corn was grown were equally fertilized at about 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

     Weed growth and pest attack was mitigated by assiduous attentiveness and insecticide.

Experiment 1

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 1

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            84                                             50                                 9

            94                                             100                               45

 

Experiment 2

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 2

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            8                                              15                                 0

            91                                             50                                 8

            101                                           100                               65

 

Experiment 3

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 3

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            86                                             50                                 8

            96                                             100                               40

 

Experiment 4

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 4

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            9                                              15                                 0

            90                                             50                                 6

            98                                             100                               45

Based on the results of the experiment, which soil type is the best for sweet corn growth?

Possible Answers:

Not enough information to determine.

Sand

Clay

Silt

Correct answer:

Silt

Explanation:

When silt is at 40%, the dry mass yield of sweet corn is highest. When silt is 33%, yield is lower, and when silt is 20% yield is highest.

Example Question #231 : Act Science

     An agronomist is investigating the effect that different types of soil have on the growth and yield of maize. Sweet corn (Zea mays) is planted in loamy soil of varying proportions of sand, silt, and clay. Growth is measured in inches after 15 days, again after 50 days and finally at 100 days. Dry mass of the yield is measured in grams at the same day intervals.

     Four experiments are conducted such that the average amount of sunlight per day is 15 hours at 75° F for the duration of each experiment. All plants where watered at exactly an inch of water per week. All plots where the sweet corn was grown were equally fertilized at about 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

     Weed growth and pest attack was mitigated by assiduous attentiveness and insecticide.

Experiment 1

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 33%, silt 33%, and clay 33% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 1

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            84                                             50                                 9

            94                                             100                               45

 

Experiment 2

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 40%, and clay 20% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 2

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            8                                              15                                 0

            91                                             50                                 8

            101                                           100                               65

 

Experiment 3

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 40%, silt 20%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 3

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            7                                              15                                 0

            86                                             50                                 8

            96                                             100                               40

 

Experiment 4

     Sweet corn is planted in loamy soil of sand 20%, silt 40%, and clay 40% after soil was warmed to 50° F.

                                            Table 4

            Height (inches)                           Day                              Yield (g)

            9                                              15                                 0

            90                                             50                                 6

            98                                             100                               45

What conclusion can be made about the growth of sweet corn during the final 50 days?

Possible Answers:

The height of sweet corn decreases but the yield increases.

The height of sweet corn increases quickly but the yield increases slowly.

The height of sweet corn increases slowly but the yield increases quickly. 

The height of sweet corn increases but the yield decreases.

Correct answer:

The height of sweet corn increases slowly but the yield increases quickly. 

Explanation:

In each experiment, during the final 50 days the yield burgeons from a range of 6–9 grams to a range of 40–65 grams.

On the other hand, height creeps along from a range of 84–91 inches to a range of 94–101 inches.

Example Question #232 : Act Science

Sleep plays a vital role in defining the daily activities of virtually all animals. During periods of sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active and induces a relaxed state in response to increased levels of the hormone melatonin. Despite its ubiquity in the animal kingdom, the purpose of sleep and its role in our daily lives has been disputed by scientists. Two scientists discuss their theories about the purpose of sleep.

Scientist 1

During periods of sleep, animals are able to conserve energy that they would otherwise be spending on unnecessary activity. If an animal’s primary food source is most abundant during daylight, it is a waste of precious energy to be moving about at night. For example, many herbivores, such as squirrels, are diurnal (asleep during the night) because their food source is available during the day, while many insectivores, such as bats, are nocturnal (asleep during the day) because their food source is available during the night. Food sources, as an animal’s most valuable resource, dictate their sleep cycles. Many animal traits observable today evolved as a result of the supply and demand of food in their natural habitat.

Scientist 2

During waking hours, it is true that the body utilizes large amounts of energy; however, the role of sleep is to restore biological products that were utilized during periods of wakefulness, rather than simply to avoid utilizing energy in the first place. Many types of biological molecules, such as hormones, are released throughout the body while an animal is active. Sleep serves as a period of inactivity during which the body can manufacture and store a supply of these molecules, for future use during the next period of activity; furthermore, sleep allows the body to repair cellular damage that has accumulated during waking hours. Experimental evidence shows that when animals are deprived of sleep, their immune system quickly weakens and death rates increase. Sleep is necessary for animals to prevent accumulation of damage and to regenerate crucial biomolecules for daily life.

Which of the following is likely true of melatonin?

Possible Answers:

Diurnal animals will express high levels during the day.

Melatonin causes animals to seek food sources.

Nocturnal animals will express high levels at night.

Melatonin causes animals to use more energy.

Diurnal animals will express high levels at night.

Correct answer:

Diurnal animals will express high levels at night.

Explanation:

The passage states that "During periods of sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active and induces a relaxed state in response to increased levels of the hormone melatonin."

This tells us that 1) melatonin causes the nervous system to induce a relaxed state and 2) melatonin levels are increased during sleep. Diurnal animals sleep at night, and thus will express high levels of melatonin at night.

Example Question #233 : Act Science

Sleep plays a vital role in defining the daily activities of virtually all animals. During periods of sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active and induces a relaxed state in response to increased levels of the hormone melatonin. Despite its ubiquity in the animal kingdom, the purpose of sleep and its role in our daily lives has been disputed by scientists. Two scientists discuss their theories about the purpose of sleep.

Scientist 1

During periods of sleep, animals are able to conserve energy that they would otherwise be spending on unnecessary activity. If an animal’s primary food source is most abundant during daylight, it is a waste of precious energy to be moving about at night. For example, many herbivores, such as squirrels, are diurnal (asleep during the night) because their food source is available during the day, while many insectivores, such as bats, are nocturnal (asleep during the day) because their food source is available during the night. Food sources, as an animal’s most valuable resource, dictate their sleep cycles. Many animal traits observable today evolved as a result of the supply and demand of food in their natural habitat.

Scientist 2

During waking hours, it is true that the body utilizes large amounts of energy; however, the role of sleep is to restore biological products that were utilized during periods of wakefulness, rather than simply to avoid utilizing energy in the first place. Many types of biological molecules, such as hormones, are released throughout the body while an animal is active. Sleep serves as a period of inactivity during which the body can manufacture and store a supply of these molecules, for future use during the next period of activity; furthermore, sleep allows the body to repair cellular damage that has accumulated during waking hours. Experimental evidence shows that when animals are deprived of sleep, their immune system quickly weakens and death rates increase. Sleep is necessary for animals to prevent accumulation of damage and to regenerate crucial biomolecules for daily life.

Adenosine is a damaging by-product of the brain that is produced during waking hours. If Scientist 2’s theory is correct, which of the following is likely true?

Possible Answers:

Adenosine levels remain constant while an animal is sleeping.

If an animal has enough food, adenosine levels will decrease.

An animal that is more active will produce more adenosine.

Accumulated adenosine can help an animal avoid illness.

In nocturnal animals, adenosine levels are high in the morning.

Correct answer:

In nocturnal animals, adenosine levels are high in the morning.

Explanation:

According to Scientist 2, "sleep is necessary for animals to prevent accumulation of damage." Thus, if adenosine accumulates during waking hours, periods of sleep may be used to lower these levels. Adenosine will be high right before sleep and low right after. For a nocturnal animal, this means that adenosine will be high in the morning.

Note that Scientist 2 does not discuss energy or food consumption levels, so we can eliminate answers dealing with these concepts. Finally, we know that adenosine is damaging, and thus would not help an animal avoid illness.

Example Question #234 : Act Science

Sleep plays a vital role in defining the daily activities of virtually all animals. During periods of sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system becomes active and induces a relaxed state in response to increased levels of the hormone melatonin. Despite its ubiquity in the animal kingdom, the purpose of sleep and its role in our daily lives has been disputed by scientists. Two scientists discuss their theories about the purpose of sleep.

Scientist 1

During periods of sleep, animals are able to conserve energy that they would otherwise be spending on unnecessary activity. If an animal’s primary food source is most abundant during daylight, it is a waste of precious energy to be moving about at night. For example, many herbivores, such as squirrels, are diurnal (asleep during the night) because their food source is available during the day, while many insectivores, such as bats, are nocturnal (asleep during the day) because their food source is available during the night. Food sources, as an animal’s most valuable resource, dictate their sleep cycles. Many animal traits observable today evolved as a result of the supply and demand of food in their natural habitat.

Scientist 2

During waking hours, it is true that the body utilizes large amounts of energy; however, the role of sleep is to restore biological products that were utilized during periods of wakefulness, rather than simply to avoid utilizing energy in the first place. Many types of biological molecules, such as hormones, are released throughout the body while an animal is active. Sleep serves as a period of inactivity during which the body can manufacture and store a supply of these molecules, for future use during the next period of activity; furthermore, sleep allows the body to repair cellular damage that has accumulated during waking hours. Experimental evidence shows that when animals are deprived of sleep, their immune system quickly weakens and death rates increase. Sleep is necessary for animals to prevent accumulation of damage and to regenerate crucial biomolecules for daily life.

Studies have shown that students who sleep well the night before an exam receive better marks. Why might this be, according to the hypotheses of both scientists?

Possible Answers:

Students who sleep more have more energy and restored molecular balance.

Students who sleep more have better study habits.

Students who sleep less start to become nocturnal.

Students who sleep less are less alert.

Students who sleep more have a better diet.

Correct answer:

Students who sleep more have more energy and restored molecular balance.

Explanation:

This question combines the two passage theories. "Students who sleep more have more energy and restored molecular balance" is the best answer because it reflects the viewpoints of both scientists.

Example Question #231 : Act Science

A scientific experiment is conducted to test if calcium can affect gene regulation. Scientists hypothesize that high levels of calcium would interact with the proteins Cs3 and Gfy, which would increase the transcription of genes F4597 and BC392. The experiment procedure is summarized below.

  1. Isolate the genes F4597 and BC392.
  2. Create a vector within yeast cells containing the two genes
  3. Culture yeast cells
  4. Grow yeast cells in different growth mediums—one medium lacking calcium (plate A), and one medium with supplemented calcium (plate B)

According to the experiment, what data results would support the hypothesis? 

Possible Answers:

Both Plate A and Plate B show equal F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Plate A shows decreased F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Plate B shows increased F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Plate A shows increased F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Neither Plate A nor Plate B show F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Correct answer:

Plate B shows increased F4597 and BC392 gene activity. 

Explanation:

To support the hypothesis, the data would need to show that calcium increased the gene activity. Plate B has the supplemented calcium growth medium; therefore, increased gene activity in those plates would support the hypothesis.

Example Question #236 : Act Science

In the 1980’s, an epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, swept through cattle herds in the United Kingdom.   Scientists and veterinarians were troubled and had a difficult time managing the disease because it spread from one animal to another, and behaved differently than other diseases in the past. 

When infectious material from affected animals was treated with high levels of radiation, for example, the material remained infectious.  All known bacteria or viruses that carry disease would have been killed by such a treatment.  Additionally, some animals developed the disease without first being exposed to sick animals. Perhaps most frustratingly, among those animals that are exposed before becoming sick, it can take many years after exposure for illness to appear.

There quickly emerged two distinct explanations for the disease. 

Scientist 1:

Mad cow disease is unlike any disease we have handled before.  It is increasingly clear that the best explanation for the disease’s dynamics involve proteins, called the protein-only hypothesis.   These protein molecules are likely causative of the disease, and they lack any DNA or RNA.  It is damage to these DNA or RNA molecules that kills bacteria or viruses when exposed to high levels of radiation.  The most important observations that made scientists consider a unique, protein-only model for this disease involved its resistance to radiation.  Remarkably, this would be the first example of an infectious agent copying itself without DNA or RNA to mediate the process.

Moreover, some animals develop the disease spontaneously, without physically being infected by another animal. This suggests that internal disorder among protein molecules is a potential route to developing disease, and may be accelerated by exposure to other sick animals.

In fact, this is consistent with the proposed mechanism. It is likely that proteins fold incorrectly, and then influence proteins around them to take on this errant conformation.  Some proteins may fold incorrectly by chance, which explains spontaneous disease development.  It also explains the long course of disease, as it takes many years for enough proteins to fold incorrectly and result in observable disease.

Scientist 2:

The suggestion that mad cow disease is caused exclusively by protein, in the absence of DNA or RNA, is such a dramatic departure from accepted biological processes that it warrants careful scrutiny. Additionally, other more conventional explanations should be thoroughly investigated before coming to such a conclusion.

Some scientists have shown that very small particles resembling viruses are visible in infectious material under powerful microscopes.  Additionally, these viruses are consistent in size and shape with known, highly radiation-resistant viruses called polyomaviruses.  It takes much higher-than-typical doses of radiation to cause enough DNA damage to inactivate these viruses.

The observation that mad cow disease occurs spontaneously in some animals is also explained by the viral explanation. Many viruses exist in animals and humans for years, undetected and no causing any observable disease. Sickness or stress can make these viruses reactivate, offering the illusion of spontaneous illness.  All of these observations are consistent with the viral hypothesis.

Which of the following would be most consistent with both views presented in the passage?

Possible Answers:

Polyomaviruses are found to be much more susceptible to radiation-induced damage than previously thought

Radiation is found to be more potent at reducing infectivity than previously measured

Enzymes that break down proteins render most material non-infectious

A population of animals is found with even longer periods between exposure and actual disease onset than previously described.

Radiation is found to be far less potent at reducing infectivity than previously thought

Correct answer:

A population of animals is found with even longer periods between exposure and actual disease onset than previously described.

Explanation:

As based on the passage, both hypotheses offer their own independent mechanisms for explaining the long period of time between exposure and disease onset.  Though they are not the same mechanism, finding that some animals have even longer periods of such disease incubation would be consistent with both models as described here.

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