ACT Science : How to find synthesis of data in biology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #492 : Biology

Botulism is a rare disease caused by the botulinum toxin produced and secreted by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes muscle weakness and in severe cases can inhibit the muscles of respiration and lead to respiratory failure and even death. The exotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum causes damage to its host by inhibiting of the release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, meaning it is responsible for enabling communication between a nerve cell and other cells. 

Experiment A

Scientists conducting a study on the lethality of the botulinum toxin are looking at the effect of acidification on the toxin’s potency. They design a study in mice to identify the minimal lethal dose of botulinum toxin. The scientists believe acidification will reduce the minimal lethal dose. The findings from their study are below:

Min lethal

Experiment B

Scientists also assessed the relationship between acidification and the incubation period. The incubation period was defined as the time between exposure to the toxin and the onset of symptoms. 

Incub

Data and concepts from: Bronfenbrenner, J. & Schlesinger M.J. (1922). Some of the factors contributing to toxicity of botulinus toxin by mouth. JAMA, 78(20), 1519-1521.

What minimal lethal dose would you expect for a pH of 9.0?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

 is the correct answer because with an increase of 1.0 in pH there is an increase by  in the minimal lethal dose.

Example Question #493 : Biology

Botulism is a rare disease caused by the botulinum toxin produced and secreted by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes muscle weakness and in severe cases can inhibit the muscles of respiration and lead to respiratory failure and even death. The exotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum causes damage to its host by inhibiting of the release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, meaning it is responsible for enabling communication between a nerve cell and other cells. 

Experiment A

Scientists conducting a study on the lethality of the botulinum toxin are looking at the effect of acidification on the toxin’s potency. They design a study in mice to identify the minimal lethal dose of botulinum toxin. The scientists believe acidification will reduce the minimal lethal dose. The findings from their study are below:

Min lethal

Experiment B

Scientists also assessed the relationship between acidification and the incubation period. The incubation period was defined as the time between exposure to the toxin and the onset of symptoms. 

Incub

Data and concepts from: Bronfenbrenner, J. & Schlesinger M.J. (1922). Some of the factors contributing to toxicity of botulinus toxin by mouth. JAMA78(20), 1519-1521.

Given that exposure to botulinum toxin usually occurs through food and the stomach is an acidic environment, which of the following is a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence from this experiment?

Possible Answers:

The toxin’s introduction to an acidic environment will lead to more dilution of the toxin.

The acidic environment will contribute to the potency of the toxin. 

The stomach acid will destroy the toxin. 

The potency will be reduced through the toxin creating a more basic environment.

Correct answer:

The acidic environment will contribute to the potency of the toxin. 

Explanation:

Our chart demonstrates that with increased acidification (a lower pH) there is a decrease in the minimal lethal dose. Thus, the acidic stomach will decrease the minimal lethal dose or in other words increase the potency of our toxin.  

Example Question #211 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Biology

Botulism is a rare disease caused by the botulinum toxin produced and secreted by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes muscle weakness and in severe cases can inhibit the muscles of respiration and lead to respiratory failure and even death. The exotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum causes damage to its host by inhibiting of the release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, meaning it is responsible for enabling communication between a nerve cell and other cells. 

Experiment A

Scientists conducting a study on the lethality of the botulinum toxin are looking at the effect of acidification on the toxin’s potency. They design a study in mice to identify the minimal lethal dose of botulinum toxin. The scientists believe acidification will reduce the minimal lethal dose. The findings from their study are below:

Min lethal

Experiment B

Scientists also assessed the relationship between acidification and the incubation period. The incubation period was defined as the time between exposure to the toxin and the onset of symptoms. 

Incub

Data and concepts from: Bronfenbrenner, J. & Schlesinger M.J. (1922). Some of the factors contributing to toxicity of botulinus toxin by mouth. JAMA78(20), 1519-1521.

Based on the data obtained from both experiments, what is a reasonable conclusion?

Possible Answers:

As the pH decreases, there is a longer incubation period and a lower minimal lethal dose.

As the pH increases, there is a longer incubation period and a lower minimal lethal dose.

As the pH increases, there is a shorter incubation period and a lower minimal lethal dose.

As the pH decreases, there is a shorter incubation period and a lower minimal lethal dose.

Correct answer:

As the pH increases, there is a shorter incubation period and a lower minimal lethal dose.

Explanation:

As the pH decreases, the minimal lethal dose decreases and the incubation decreases. Thus, the best synthesis of both experiments states these two conclusions.  

Example Question #495 : Biology

The cells of multicellular organisms must be linked to each other through special structures called cellular junctions. A gap junction is a type of cellular junction, which allows for the passage of small molecules for fast coordination between cells. For example, cardiac cells in the heart and neurons in the brain rely on gap junctions. However, gap junctions are small and there is a limit to how large a molecule can be in order for it to pass through the gap junction.    

An experiment is designed to see how large molecules can be to pass through a gap junction. A single layer of cells is grown in a petri dish. A single cell is then injected with a dye labeled with a fluorescent molecule. Researchers observe the following:

Molec

Gap junctions allow for ultra-fast coordination between cells. Which of the following physiological processes would likely be related to gap junctions?

Possible Answers:

Gap junctions assist erythrocytes also known as red blood cells.

Gap junctions are a key component of intestinal epithelial cells.

Gap junctions are critical to the coordinated contraction of the heart.

Gap junctions aid the passage of large proteins between epithelial cells.

Correct answer:

Gap junctions are critical to the coordinated contraction of the heart.

Explanation:

In the passage, it describes gap junctions as a critical component of cardiac cells. Based on our limited information, it most logical to conclude that gap junctions are critical to the coordinated contraction of the heart.   

Example Question #496 : Biology

The cells of multicellular organisms must be linked to each other through special structures called cellular junctions. A gap junction is a type of cellular junction, which allows for the passage of small molecules for fast coordination between cells. For example, cardiac cells in the heart and neurons in the brain rely on gap junctions. However, gap junctions are small and there is a limit to how large a molecule can be in order for it to pass through the gap junction.    

An experiment is designed to see how large molecules can be to pass through a gap junction. A single layer of cells is grown in a petri dish. A single cell is then injected with a dye labeled with a fluorescent molecule. Researchers observe the following:

Molec

There is evidence that insulin (5808 Daltons) passes from cell to cell. Which of the following is a reasonable statement?

Possible Answers:

Insulin passes from once cell into another but it is unlikely that this molecule passes through a gap junction due to its size.

If insulin passes from one cell into another cell, it must pass through a gap junction.  

Insulin must not pass from one cell into another because it is too large to pass through a gap junction.

The charge of this molecule prevents it from passing through a cellular junction.

Correct answer:

Insulin passes from once cell into another but it is unlikely that this molecule passes through a gap junction due to its size.

Explanation:

The size of insulin (5808 Da) means it will not pass thru a gap junction. However, the question notes it passes from cell to cell and the passage notes that a gap junction is one type of a cellular junction. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that insulin probably uses some other junction to pass to another cell. We are not told anything about the charge of insulin, nor whether this charge will facilitate or hinder its movement between cells via junctions. 

Example Question #497 : Biology

Poisons dart frogs earned their name because of a deadly neurotoxin they produce and secrete. To synthesize this neurotoxin, the frogs must consume termites which contain the necessary precursors that the frog processes into their poison. Frogs consuming more of these termites will be more poisonous than frogs consuming smaller amounts. Previous experiments have also shown that neurotoxin production is highest at low temperatures and decreases as temperatures increase. 

A team of researchers is curious about when these frogs are most toxic. They record average monthly temperatures for a year and count the number of termites found within a 5,000 square foot area as a measure of termite density in the environment. Results are shown below.

Termiteandtemperature

Between the months of August and December, what best describes the trend in frog toxicity?

Possible Answers:

Toxicity decreases then increases

Toxicity remains the same

Toxicity increases then decreases

Toxicity decreases

Toxicity increases

Correct answer:

Toxicity increases

Explanation:

To find out the trend in frog toxicity, we must look at the two variables affecting toxicity mentioned in the text: termite availability and temperature. Toxicity increases as temperature decreases and increases as termite density increases. During the period between August and December, temperature consistently decreases and termite density consistently increases, yielding an increase in toxicity during that time period.

Example Question #498 : Biology

Researchers at a biotechnology company have just developed a new immortal line of mammalian cells derived from raccoon hair follicles. They dub these cells RHF and note that they appear particularly resistant to environmental stressors in initial experiments. They design a set of experiments to test the limits of the RHF cell line.

Experiment 1: The scientists inoculate 5 identical flasks containing growth media with samples of the RHF cells. The flasks are then incubated in separate incubators at varying temperatures. The flasks are sampled daily for cell density to analyze growth of the cells, yielding these results:

Cell Density (million cells per mL)
  Day
Temperature 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
32 °C 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.9 1.6 2.5
37 °C 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 1.5 3.3 6.3
42 °C 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.7 1.3 2.2 4.1
47 °C 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.9 1.7
52 °C 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Experiment 2: The scientists produce 5 separate batches of cell growth media containing various amounts of salt to raise the osmolality of the solution. They inoculate 5 flasks, each with various osmolalities, then incubate the flasks at 37 °C for seven days. The flasks are sampled daily for cell density, yielding these results: 

Cell Density (million cells per mL)
  Day
Osmolality (mOsm/kg) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
310 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 1.5 3.3 6.3
340 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.7 1.4 2.8 4.9
380 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.6 1 1.8 3.5
420 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.4
460 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4

Based on the results of this experiment, what is the maximum temperature that RHF cells can survive at?

Possible Answers:

Cannot be determined.

Correct answer:

Explanation:

In experiment 1, cells were able to survive at  but died off at . While some cells were found on day 1 in the  condition this is likely left over from inoculation, and is not indicative of the RHF cells ability to survive at that temperature.

Example Question #499 : Biology

A sports physician is conducting an experiment in which a competitive bicycle rider has her heart rate, oxygen content in blood, and blood lactate measured. The measurements are taken at resting, during easy, moderate, difficult, and very difficult exercise. The results are summarized in the table below. Please note that the oxygen content was normalized to the resting oxygen content. 

Capture

How is the level of blood lactate affected by the intensity of the workout?  

Possible Answers:

Blood lactate level linearly increases with workout intensity

Blood lactate level decreases as workout intensity increases

Cannot be determined from the given information

There is no relationship between blood lactate level and workout intensity

Blood lactate level non-linearly increases with workout intensity

Correct answer:

Blood lactate level non-linearly increases with workout intensity

Explanation:

At a resting intensity the blood lactate level is 0 mmol and increases to 0.5 mmol at an easy workout. This is an increase of 0.5 mmol. Looking at a difficult workout to the very difficult workout is an increase from 4 mmol to 10 mmol, which is an increase of 6 mmol. There is a pattern of the blood lactate level increasing with workout intensity, but it is not a linear relationship. 

Example Question #500 : Biology

A sports physician is conducting an experiment in which a competitive bicycle rider has her heart rate, oxygen content in blood, and blood lactate measured. The measurements are taken at resting, during easy, moderate, difficult, and very difficult exercise. The results are summarized in the table below. Please note that the oxygen content was normalized to the resting oxygen content. 

Capture

What is the relationship between oxygen content and blood lactate level? 

Possible Answers:

As the oxygen content decreases, the blood lactate level decreases

There is no relationship

Cannot be determined from the given information

As the oxygen content decreases, the blood lactate level increases

As the oxygen content increases, the blood lactate level increases

Correct answer:

As the oxygen content decreases, the blood lactate level increases

Explanation:

At an oxygen content of 100%, the blood lactate level is 0 mmol. At an oxygen content of 95%, the blood lactate level is 0.5 mmol. This shows that as the oxygen content decreases, the blood lactate level increases. This relationship can be seen in the rest of the data as well. 

Example Question #211 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Biology

A botanist is trying to see the effects of temperature on a certain plant species. She prepares four identical plots of soil and runs a heating element through the soil so she can vary the temperature of each plot. After one month she harvests all of the plant biomass and records the temperature of each plot along with the biomass collected. The data are given in the table below.

Planttable1

Suppose the experimenter let the plants grow for two months. Which of the following could be a correct list of the plots ordered by biomass collected after two months from least to greatest?

Possible Answers:

C, A, B, D

D, C, A, B

D, B, C, A

A, D, C, B

B, C, A, D

Correct answer:

A, D, C, B

Explanation:

We know the two plots that had the highest biomass were plots B and C. And the two lowest were plots A and D. Any order that has B or C in the first two choices should not be correct. That eliminates all but one answer. Note that the answer suggests that D grows better than A and C grows better than B over the next month. This is certainly within the realm of possibility, or at least fits the data we are given better than supposing the the slowest growing plot will become the quickest, or vice versa over the extended time.

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