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 #312 : Biology

Eukaryotic cells, cells that contain membrane-bound organelles and generally reside within multicellular organisms, contain DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, which is organized into chromosomes. DNA is a double-stranded nucleic acid that forms a double helix. The bases found within a DNA molecule are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). DNA is organized into functional units, called genes, that encode the basic traits and characteristics of living organisms. DNA can be replicated within the nucleus prior to cell division to ensure each daughter cell receives an identical copy of DNA. The central dogma of molecular biology states that DNA is transcribed to RNA which is then translated into protein. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is a nucleic acid found in all cells that serves a messenger to carry the genetic code from DNA to produce a functional molecule, the protein. RNA is a single-stranded nucleic acid and consists of the bases adenine (A), uracil (U), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). RNA is translated into amino acids on the ribosome to produce a polypeptide chain, or a protein. There are two general hypotheses for the original evolutionary molecule. The “RNA world” hypothesis states that the original genetic molecule is RNA, and RNA was able to be translated into protein and reverse transcribed to produce DNA. Alternatively, the “DNA, RNA, and Protein World” suggests that DNA was the original genetic molecule and was responsible for subsequent production of RNA and protein.

A protein is comprised of many ______________.

Possible Answers:

DNA molecules

Amino Acids

RNA molecules

Ribosomes

Correct answer:

Amino Acids

Explanation:

On the ribosome, RNA is translated into many amino acids which form polypeptide chains, or proteins.

Example Question #313 : Biology

An experiment was done to test the antibiotic resistance of the bacteria Pseudomonas flourescens and Escherichia coli by using the antibiotic disk sensitivity method. Four different antibiotics were tested on each bacterium. Media were prepared with each type of bacterium and a drop of each antibiotic was added to each corner of the plates, a different antibiotic in each corner. The cultures were observed for eighteen hours. After this period of time, the zones of inhibition (where the bacteria was not able to grow due to the antibiotic) were measured. The table below shows the results of the four antibiotics on the two bacteria, Pseudomonas flourescens and Escherichia coli.

  

 

Antibiotic 1

Antibiotic 2

Antibiotic 3

Antibiotic 4

Pseudomonas flourescens

11mm

2mm

5mm

20mm

Escherichia coli

 

10mm

8mm

3mm

10mm

A second experiment was done that looked at the zone of inhibition at six hours, and then at twelve hours after plating the antibiotics. What results could be seen in a plate showing high levels of antibiotic resistance? 

Possible Answers:

A zone of inhibition of 0mm at hour six and a zone of 1mm at hour twelve

A zone of inhibition of 14mm at hour six and a zone of 4mm at hour twelve

A zone of inhibition of 9mm at hour six and a zone of 10mm at hour twelve

A zone of inhibition of 6mm at hour six and a zone of 7mm at hour twelve

A zone of inhibition of 6mm at hour six and a zone of 6mm at hour twelve

Correct answer:

A zone of inhibition of 0mm at hour six and a zone of 1mm at hour twelve

Explanation:

A zone of inhibition of 0mm at hour six and a zone of 1mm at hour twelve would show that the bacteria were unaffected by the antibiotic until at least hour six. At hour twelve, the antibiotic was able to make an influence, although it was a minimal 1mm zone of inhibition.

This question requires a zone of inhibition that remains small over the full time period and shows very little development between hours six and twelve.

Example Question #314 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

Which of the following is a valid conclusion about the food source?

Possible Answers:

The potential food source was an appropriate food source for both species.

The potential food source was not an appropriate food source for either species

The potential food source was not an appropriate food source for species A

The potential food source was not an appropriate food source for species B

Correct answer:

The potential food source was not an appropriate food source for species A

Explanation:

When left alone with the food source, species A's numbers decreased rapidly as they starved to death; therefore, we must conclude that the food source was not successful for species A.

When left alone with the food source, species B did not die out, but rather flourished in the presence of the potential food source, suggesting that the food source was successful for species B.

Example Question #315 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

If a small number of species B and a large number of species A were put together in an isolated environment, what would likely happen to species A?

Possible Answers:

Species A would see their numbers decrease until they were gone

Species A would see their numbers remain constant, and then go down until they were gone

Species A would see their numbers remain constant

Species A would see their numbers remain constant, and then go up

Correct answer:

Species A would see their numbers remain constant, and then go down until they were gone

Explanation:

Based on experiment 3, species A likely preys upon species B, using them as a food source in place of the potential food source being tested. With a high number of species A and a low number of species B, the A's will eat the B's until the B's are completely gone, at which point the A's will begin to starve and die.

Only when equal numbers of species A and B are present can both species remain constant. When left alone, species B increases. As species A preys on species B, it counters this increase and also maintains its own numbers. By killing off excess species B and preventing excessive death of species A, the numbers remain constant in experiment 3.

Example Question #316 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

Which of the following is a valid conclusion about species B?

Possible Answers:

The potential new food source is a valid food source for species B

Species B didn't like the new food source at first, but gradually adapted to it

Species B are herbivores

Species B has a short life span

Correct answer:

The potential new food source is a valid food source for species B

Explanation:

When left alone with the food source in experiment 2, the numbers of species B increased rapidly; therefore, the food source was a valid food source for them.

We cannot make any conclusions about species B's diet or reproductive habits from this experiment, as we are not given any information about these variables.

Example Question #317 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

A study is released that says that species A is allergic to a protein found in this potential new food source. Is that study supported by these experiments?

Possible Answers:

Yes, as the numbers of species A decreased substantially when left alone with the food source

No, as species B showed no signs of allergic reactions

No, as there were no mentions of allergic reactions by species A

Yes, as species B saw their numbers increase when with the food source

Correct answer:

Yes, as the numbers of species A decreased substantially when left alone with the food source

Explanation:

In experiment 1, when species A was left alone with the food source, their numbers decreased rapidly showing that the potential food source was not valid for them. If they were allergic to a protein found in the food source, this could explain their rapid deaths.

The results of experiment 3 suggest that species A preys on species B, but do not disprove the claim that species A may be allergic to the food source, as they still do not consume it directly.

Example Question #318 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

The experiment is repeated with a new species of cat, species C. When left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left. What conclusion can we draw?

Possible Answers:

Species C and species B must share a close genetic link

The potential food source is not a possible food source for species C

Species C and species A must have similar coloring

Species C is completely unrelated to either species A or B

Correct answer:

The potential food source is not a possible food source for species C

Explanation:

The potential food source is not a possible food source for species C. We can determine this information based on the fact that species C dies quickly when left alone with the food source.

We cannot draw any conclusions about genetic relationships without more information.

Example Question #319 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

What is the most likely reason that species B's numbers remain constant in experiment 3?

Possible Answers:

Species A used species B as a food source

Species B's numbers remained constant through all three experiments

Species A and species B had to split the available food source

Species A introduced a virus that species B could not defend against

Correct answer:

Species A used species B as a food source

Explanation:

We cannot assume a virus has been introduced, as there has been no mention of disease until this point.

We know from experiment 1 that species A does not live off of the available food source, so they would not share this food source.

We know from experiment 2 that species B's numbers actually increase when left alone with the food source.

The only answer choice left is that species A preys upon species B. This explains why species A remains constant, even if it does not consume the food source (it eats species B), and why species B remains constant instead of increasing (they are eaten by species A).

Example Question #320 : Biology

A biologist wanted to do an experiment involving two species of large cat (species A and species B) around a potential new food source.

He isolated the populations of each cat in a location that closely approximated their natural environment, except this potential new food source was the only food source available to them. 

Experiment 1:

When species A was left alone with the new food source, their numbers decreased rapidly until none were left.

Experiment 2:

When species B was left alone with the new food source, their numbers increased and the species flourished.

Experiment 3:

When an equal number of species A and B were placed with the new food source, both species maintained relatively constant numbers.

Which of the following is a valid conclusion from experiment 2?

Possible Answers:

Species A cannot live off of this potential food source

We cannot draw any conclusions

The experiment had a short timeline

The potential food source is not exhausted by the end of the experiment

Correct answer:

The potential food source is not exhausted by the end of the experiment

Explanation:

Since species B survived and their population grew, we can assume that this potential food source is viable for the species. Since the experiment did not state that their population began to decrease, we can assume that the food source was not exhausted. The food source is the only food available; if it were depleted, the animals would have to begin to die from starvation. The continued increase means that the food source must still be available.

Note that, while it is true that the food source is not viable for species A, this conclusion is drawn from the first experiment and has no connection to experiment 2.

Example Question #31 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Biology

Consider the graph. A company is attempting to develop a new antibiotic to treat Staph infections. A petri dish of bacterial colonies are grown on LB plates with or without an antibiotic for 7 days. The percent survival of the bacterial colonies is plotted. Summarize the conclusions.

Act_questions_10_and_11

Possible Answers:

Treatment with the antibiotic greatly reduced the survival of the bacteria suggesting that the antibiotic is effective.

The percent of bacterial colonies present after treatment with the antibiotic decreases with time suggesting the antibiotic is not effective.

A greater number of bacterial colonies are present without antibiotic treatment suggesting that the antibiotics were not effective.

Analyzing the effect of antibiotics on bacteria grown on a dish cannot determine if an antibiotic is effective.

Correct answer:

Treatment with the antibiotic greatly reduced the survival of the bacteria suggesting that the antibiotic is effective.

Explanation:

The survival of the bacteria is plotted. If the antibiotic was effective, there would be a decrease in the survival compared to the untreated control group. The red line (antibiotic) is much lower than the blue line (no treatment) after a few days in culture, indicating that the antibiotic is killing the bacteria, and thus is effective.

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