AP Human Geography : Biotechnology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Which of the following is not an example of a way in which organisms have been genetically modified by human beings?

Possible Answers:

Artificial selection and breeding 

Bioballistics

Natural selection

Biolistics

Correct answer:

Natural selection

Explanation:

Natural selection is the process by which organisms that survive best pass on their genes, ensuring genetic modification over time. This is always occurring in the natural world. This can be contrasted with artificial selection, which occurs when humans select for certain traits. Bioballistics and biolistics are two terms for the same idea. They refer to the process of using a "gene gun" in order to introduce genetic material into an organism. 

Thus, natural selection is the only option which doesn't involve human intervention.

Example Question #2 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

The acronym GMO stands for __________.

Possible Answers:

Gastronomically Modified Origin

Grossly Manipulated Organism

Genetically Modified Organism

Genetically Manipulated Origin

Grossly Maladjusted Organism

Correct answer:

Genetically Modified Organism

Explanation:

The acronym GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism.” It is used in common parlance to refer to a crop whose genetic structure has been altered to make it more useful and efficient for human purposes. GMOs are often controversial because some scientists claim that their health effects have not yet been realized.

Example Question #881 : Ap Human Geography

This broad term encompasses all innovative techniques used to improve the usefulness of plant and animal species for human agricultural purposes?

Possible Answers:

Agribusiness

Vertical integration

Biotechnology

Horizontal integration

Desertification

Correct answer:

Biotechnology

Explanation:

The term “biotechnology” is applied to any technological innovation that is designed to improve the usefulness of plant and animals species for human agricultural purposes. Biotechnology is what drove the population growth of the Green Revolution. It is often controversial, such as in genetically modified organisms.

Example Question #4 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Opponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) primarily contend that __________.

Possible Answers:

GMOs are less efficient and less reliable

GMOs are only beneficial to the most wealthy people in the world

the environmental and public health consequences are unknown and potentially catastrophic

scientists are experimenting on people in the poorest parts of the world

All of these answers are correct.

Correct answer:

the environmental and public health consequences are unknown and potentially catastrophic

Explanation:

Genetically Modified Organisms are crops whose genetic makeup has been altered to encourage some positive traits and eliminate some negative traits. These crops, however, are not universally supported. Opponents of GMOs argue that the environmental consequences remain unknown and could be potentially devastating. Even opponents of GMOs recognize their potential to benefit those in areas of economic and food scarcity.

Example Question #1 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Apart from the United States, which of these countries accounts for the majority of the world’s usage and production of ethanol to fuel motor vehicles?

Possible Answers:

Brazil

Canada

China

The United Kingdom

Australia

Correct answer:

Brazil

Explanation:

The United States and Brazil together account for almost ninety percent of the world’s production of ethanol fuel and are by far the biggest uses of ethanol to fuel motor vehicles. Brazil’s government has made it an official policy and ethanol usage continues to rise in Brazil.

Example Question #6 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Supporters of genetically-modified organisms (GMO's) primarily argue that __________.

Possible Answers:

GMO's are more efficient and reliable

None of these

GMO's are beneficial to people in the poorest parts of the world

GMO's are advancing our scientific understanding

GMO's are healthier and safer

Correct answer:

GMO's are more efficient and reliable

Explanation:

Genetically-modified organisms are a controversial topic in contemporary agricultural geography. GMO's are crops whose genetic makeup has been altered to encourage positive traits and eliminate negative traits. This leads to a more efficient process and a more reliable product, but has many potential downsides.

Example Question #7 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Ethanol, an alcohol produced from corn and grain, is commonly used __________.

Possible Answers:

in water treatment plants

in refrigerators and air conditioners

as an antiseptic

All of these answers are correct.

to power motor vehicles

Correct answer:

to power motor vehicles

Explanation:

“Ethanol” is an ethyl alcohol produced from corn and grain. In recent years it has started to be used to fuel motor vehicles, particularly in the United States. Ethanol is neither used as an antiseptic nor as a form of water treatment.

Example Question #1 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

What name is given to a tool used to kill insects and other animals that might damage agricultural products?

Possible Answers:

Swidden

Fallow

Herbicides

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Correct answer:

Pesticides

Explanation:

“Pesticides” are chemicals that are used to treat agricultural crops so as to kill any insects or animals that might try to damage the crop. “Herbicides” are similar but are chemicals that are used to treat agricultural crops so as to kill any plants that might cause a disruption in the growth of the desired product.

Example Question #1 : Contemporary Commercial Agriculture

Which of the following is not an example of biotechnology?

Possible Answers:

Artificially inseminating dairy cattle to improve milk production

Genetically engineering corn to be herbicide resistant

Grizzly-polar bear hybrids occurring in the wild

Using bacteria to make yogurt

Correct answer:

Grizzly-polar bear hybrids occurring in the wild

Explanation:

Genetic engineering, artificial insemination, and the use of bacteria to make food products are all examples of biotechnology, or the purposeful utilization of biological organisms and/or processes to create or improve products. Hybrid animals bred naturally in the wild are not considered an example of biotechnology.

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