SCI 135 - First Exam Fall 2015
Answer Key

Links in each number connect to the pertinent sections of the online book.


On the line to the left, place the letter of the choice that best answers the question.
Three Points Each. NOTE: "e" answers are never the correct answer.

            1.  A good experiment should have many subjects or trials to

___B___   a. Make sure the measurements are accurate
                b. Reduce the influence that chance can have on results
                c. Eliminate personal bias from the study design
                d. Introduce multiple variables
                e. Make sure the lab folks are earning their paychecks

                ...any unusual individual results will "fade" into the overall average if the group is large.

            2.  A drug developer scientist consults with the company’s chemists as they try to develop
                            potential new drugs – this process in science is called

___A___    a. Peer review             b. Checks and balances            c. Precheck stability
                 d. Quality control                                e. Twittering at work

                ...the other chemists are the peers, used to check / review the research.

            3.   Most chemical activity comes from

___D___    a. Number of neutrons             b. Ionic weight or mass            c. Radioactivity
                d. Outer-shell electrons                        e. How ADD the atoms are

      's the instability of not-full shells that produces the chemistry.

            4.  Both humans and Volvox, a small protist sphere, are considered colonial because

___C___    a. They exist as groups of similar individuals
                b. They can move easily into new environments
                c. They exist as groups where individuals do different jobs
                d. All of the above
                e. They wander the world planting flags everywhere

                ...that's the definition of colonial organisms.

            5.  When classification comparisons are based upon homology in molecules,
                        what’s often compared?

___B___    a. Numbers of ions             b. DNA sequence             c. Isotopes
                d. Basic functions                        e. The what in the what now?

                ...homology is structural similarity, and sequence is the structure of
                    proteins and DNA.

           6.  Which is using animal models?

___D___    a. Testing rat intelligence with a maze
                 b. Genetically altering beef cattle

                 c. Getting a computer to simulate bee flight
                 d. Separating baby monkeys to understand isolation in children

                 e. Taking photos of really cute kittens for the internet

                ...the models substitute for what the researchers can't directly study.

            7.   “All” of the energy-moving processes in a system is called

___B___    a. Respiration             b. Metabolism            c. Ionization             d. Activity
                                        e. That crazy stuff that’s happening in there

                ...that's what the term means.

            8.  Sting rays “fly” underwater with fins like wings – their resemblance to birds is a type of

___D___    a. Accident             b. Shared ancestry            c. Homology             d. Analogy
                                                e. Setup for the next Sharknado sequel

      's a similarity in function - both kind of flying with those "wings."

            9.  The “ticking” of a molecular clock would be the

___A___    a. Mutations             b. Genes             c. Energy change            d. Single generations
                                                        e. Then what’s the tocking?

      's assumed that different point mutations accumulate at a known rate in the DNA
                    of separate descendant groups - more mutations = more time separate.

            10.  Evolution is usually driven by

___B___    a. A need for a certain feature             b. Changing conditions            c. Variation in a population
                d. Pre-set improvements                            e. Well, I guess you’d at least need a big truck...

                ...changed conditions favor only some surviving individuals, and their traits become more common
                    in later generations, producing a new "average" type.

            11.  Carbon dating isn’t reliable on objects over 60,000 years old because

___C___    a. Too much has turned radioactive                       b. There’s almost no carbon left
                c. There’s almost no radioactive carbon left         d. Other materials have transformed into carbon
                                                e. Anything older always lies in its profile

                ...there wasn't a lot to start with, and about every 6000 years what's left is halved, until there's
                    so little left it's hard to get a good measurement of it.

            12.  Trying to figure out placebo effect in a drug trial involves

___D___    a. Qualitative measurement             b. Quantitative measurement            c. Psychological tests
                d. Blinding                                                e. Reading everybody’s Facebook pages

       reveals the effect of treating minus the variable.


Answer any eight of the following questions for 4 Points Each.
Note: if you answer more than eight, only the first eight will be corrected.
You can get partial credit on these answers.

1.  In the world’s ecosystems, there are mostly two basic first-level energy transformation processes. What are they?
Photosynthesis Chemosynthesis

2.  Put the following groups in order from the largest to the smallest: Class, Family, Genus, Kingdom, Order, Phylum, Species, Subclass, Superorder.
1  Kingdom Subclass (sub = under) 7  Family
2  Phylum 5  Superorder (super = over) Genus
3  Class 6  Order 9  Species

3.  What are the two basic forms of indirect observation?
Second-hand from other people (speaking or writing) Using some device to detect things human senses can't

4.  What does “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” mean?'s the old, wrong idea that a developing embryo actually relives its group's evolutionary history.

5.  Technically, what is a gene?'s a DNA code used to make a particular protein.

6.  In disagreements about classification, what are scientists -
ALLOWED      Change the level designation
TO DO                of a group.
NOT USUALLY         Change the name
ALLOWED                 of a group.

7.  In experiments, quantitative data is preferred over qualitative data. Give two reasons why this is so.
It's easier for people to understand results in numbers. Numbers make it much easier to analyze and compare results.

8.  What is the null hypothesis?'s the idea that any particular hypothesis is wrong.

9.  What is the current best-accepted way of determining whether groups are separate species?

       ...use the groups' behavior in their natural habitat - who will they reproduce with?

10. Label the following chemical reaction with the general terms for each part –
       A             +            B                            x       >                          C

  Reactant       or   Product                contributor                      product   

11.  Put these in order so that each group contains the ones before it: cells, organs, tissues.
Cells Tissues (groups of cell types) Organs  (made up of tissues)

12.  What two stages are necessary between reproductive stages of 2 generations of life cycles?
Growth Development

13.  In the experimental process, what is an artifact?'s a result not from the variable, but from some aspect of how the test is done.

14.  Briefly explain how postmodernism applies to experiment design.

       ...try not to let your own biases / cultural expectations affect how you set up your test.

15. What are two basic features of the modern science system? (NOT looking for steps in the scientific method process here)
Based on testable ideas

Uses generally-accepted logic
Subject to changes / revisions

Uses peer review


Answer any four of the following questions for Eight Points Each.
Note: if you answer more than four, only the first four will be corrected.
You can get partial credit on these answers.

1.  Give two different rules that apply to each in binomial nomenclature:
The genus name
Always capitalized
Means nothing by itself
Never capitalized
Treated as foreign - italicized or underlined
Abbreviated with first initial and second word

2.   For viruses -
2 Features they have that are also found in all living things -
Reproduction Evolution
2 Features all living things should have that viruses do NOT have -
Not cellular

No real metabolism when "free"
No growth or development

Almost no interaction with surroundings

3.   Give the following for asexual reproduction -
Offspring are genetic copies of parent.
compared to sexual
Is actually reproduction - makes copies.
compared to sexual
Offspring all have same weaknesses - changes that can hurt one will hurt all.

4.  Put these in order so that each later level contains the earlier ones: Community, Ecosystems, Individuals, Populations.
Individuals Populations Communities Ecosystems

5.   All for the most common isotope –


How many      20 - same as element number.




# 20

Column 2

How many    20 - rounded-off atomic weight
neutrons?         minus proton number

Typical          +2 - Column 2 loses 2 electrons,
form?     leaving 2 unbalanced protons

How many        20 - uncharged, must equal protons
(Uncharged form)

6.   For four of the six basic Kingdoms of Life, give the name of the Kingdom and enough features to clearly set that Kingdom's members apart from those of the other five.
Monera Prokaryotes, more common, found in "regular" environments.
Archaea Prokaryotes, less common, found mostly in "extreme" enviornments.
Protista Eukaryotes, single-celled or very simple multi-celled.
Plantae Eukaryote, photosynthetic, multi-celled.
Animalia Eukaryote, multi-celled, digest & absorb from internal chamber, usually can move.
Fungi Eukaryote, mutlicelled, digest & absorb across outer surface, usually made up of loose fibers.

7.   Answer the following about classic Scientific Method:
Two features a good
hypothesis should have

Should be predictive (if it's right, this should happen...)
Should be testable
Role served by the
experimental variable
It is the actual thing being tested (should be producing any differences betrween experimental results and control results)
Purpose of the control
It's a comparison - what is the variable actually doing?


Answer as many as you are able. Wrong answers will not result in points being lost from the main exam. You can get partial credit on these answers.

Where around here would you find the Volvox mentioned in the first part question? Three Points.

From how it’s written, what classification level is “Volvox”? Three Points.

How is a “classic” control test different from the experimental test? Three Points.

If your designed experiment comes back with the note “Anecdotal” on it, what will that mean? Three Points.

What is added if a test is triple blind? Three Points.

How did Alzheimer’s victims wind up with aluminum in their brains? Three Points.

How can ethics be a confounding factor? Three Points.

Embryos preserve similarities long gone in adults – why? Three Points.

What is uniformitarianism? Three Points.

Who was Karl von Linne? Three Points.

Why are some isotopes unstable? Three Points.

When is it good for your cells to produce free radicals? Three Points.

What class of vitamin is used to fight those potentially-damaging radicals? Three Points.



SCI 135 

Michael McDarby


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