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Iba, Zambales

Final Exam in Biological Science

1. Describe the environmental conditions of early Earth before life arose.

Answer: The conditions on early Earth, some three to four billion years ago, are thought to be much
different from what they are today. To begin with, the astronomical phenomenon called “the big bang” is
defined by a theory proposing that the earth was one of the larger particles that coalesced after the
initial universe explosion, or big bang, that spewed all the particles in the universe away from a central
point and destined them to slowly revolve around that point.

Consequently, the earth was very hot, evaporating the liquid water into the atmosphere. However, as the
earth cooled, gravity-trapped water vapor condensed, fell as rain, and did not boil away but remained
impounded in pools that became lakes and oceans. It was also believed that tectonic activity caused
many volcanic eruptions at that time. From present-day volcanoes, we know that when they erupt, they
release carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and a host of nonoxygen gases. In addition, with no protecting
atmosphere, the earth was constantly bombarded with meteorites and other space debris still in
circulation from the big bang. From current astronomical research, we know that meteorites can carry ice
and other compounds, including carbon-based compounds. Researchers believe, therefore, that early
Earth's atmosphere consisted of water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, nitrogen,
ammonia, and methane. Note that no oxygen was present in early Earth's atmosphere!

Meteorologists suspect that lightning, torrential rains, and ultraviolet radiation combined with the
intense volcanic activity and constant meteorite bombardment to make early Earth an interesting but
inhospitable environment.

2. Why are most fossils found in sedimentary rocks?

Sedimentary rocks are formed by the pressure over millions years of organic material, inorganic material,
sediment of course, and earth piling up over itself. Metamorphic rock and igneous rock originate either
below the surface where plants lived and creatures roamed, or the heat from volcanic activity
transformed everything. Sedimentary rock formation is the only geologic activity that permits and allows
organic material preservation and hence fossil formation.

3. Why do scientist think the first living cells were anaerobic heterotrophs?

The atmosphere had no oxygen it thereby created an environment where only anaerobic organisms could
exist. They couldn't make there own food due to lake of oxygen in the atmosphere

During the archaea period 3.4 billion years ago after amino acids develop the first living cells the
prokaryotes with no nuclei , simple design and no organelles. According to Miller Urey and Sagan these
cells were anaerobic as no oxygen was present in atmosphere and they were heterotrophs using
fermentation as the process to obtain energy from the molecules formed by the heat and light in early
atmosphere this is why these organisms are said to be anaerobic and heterotrophs

4. How does geographic isolation result in changes to a population gene pool?

Geographic isolation effectively isolate the union of individuals of population related to that species. This
occurs when the geographical barriers work as distinguishing agent. It effectively isolate the mating of
individuals of population related to that species.

The barriers of mating allow the isolated species to start to mate in different ways compared to the
previous. This event is a proponent tool for allopatric speciation. It has been hypothesized that the
adaptive genetic changes that has accumulated between allopatric populations result a new species.

5. What evidence suggests that Australopithecus were intermediate between apes and humans?

The suffix ‘pithicus’ (the word ‘pithicus’ means ‘apes’) was give to those skeletal forms that were
discovered in Africa (East - Kenya etc.) showed skeletal and other bones characters which are more
comparable and extension of the characters of the present Apes. These skeletal features included small
brain size, receding frontal skulls, large orbits, longer hand bones, suggesting that they are more arborial
(spend time on trees) etc. And Austrolopithicus species, perhaps is the next stage in evolution after Apes
which possibly evolved into Homo species, whose skeletal fragments have been discovered across

The word ‘homo’ indicates human like (forms) — especially erect stature, enlarged brain size etc. The
Homo is the name that refers to skeletal remains discovered in Africa, Europe and Asia, the skeletal
structure showed some of the characters which appeared to be preliminary developmental stages that
are more comparable to the present form of Man (Homo sapiens sapiens)

6. How does an animal with only a mouth get rid of undigested waste materials?

The planarian worm is a small marine creature found, for example, in the bayous of Louisiana. He has
no true central nervous system, but simply a pair of nerves running down his back, an arrangement
fashionable half a billion years ago. What evolved as a brain in later ages consists in the planarian of
nothing but a pair of enlarged ganglia furnishing connectives between the two nerves. The ganglia
provide a semblance of a head sufficient to indicate which end of him is which, but it cannot be very
important, for if you cut him in two he will grow a new head at the front of the old back section. Also,
he has no circulatory system, and his origins go back so far as to antedate common biological
developments in plumbing; he has no rectum, and rids himself of waste through special pores in his skin.
So far as sex is concerned, the world of the planarian worm offers limited entertainment. He is capable
on occasion of laying an egg, although normally he reproduces himself by division. Nature presented
this creature to our ancient swamps somewhat before she completed her experiments with sex. It was
a long time ago.

7. Describe how endothermy has contributed to the success of mammals?

Endotherm, so-called warm-blooded animals; that is, those that maintain a constant body temperature
independent of the environment. The endotherms primarily include the birds and mammals; however,
some fish are also endothermic. If heat loss exceeds heat generation, metabolism increases to make up
the loss or the animal shivers to raise its body temperature. If heat generation exceeds the heat loss,
mechanisms such as panting or perspiring increase heat loss. Unlike ectotherms, endotherms can be
active and survive at quite low external temperatures, but because they must produce heat continuously,
they require high quantities of “fuel” (i.e., food).

8. How is a reflex different from instinct?

Reflexes are stimulus-driven behaviours. They cannot be spontaneous. They has to be something in the
outside world that triggers them. They are usually reasonably simple behaviours that don't last long.
While, instincts are not necessarily evoked by stimuli. They can be responsible for spontaneous
behaviours, and could be more complex behaviours that last longer periods of time.
9. Why did the flower structure of pea plants make them suitable for Mendel’s genetic studies?

Mendel can choose some other plant for experiments but he selected pea plant due to following reasons:

Easy to Cultivate: Pea plant (Pisum sativum) was easy to cultivate. It grew well in his garden.

Hermaphrodite: Its flowers were hermaphrodite I.e. pea plant have both male and female sexual organs.

Cross-fertilization (Cross-Pollination) Easily Controlled: It was normally self-fertilizing (self-pollinating)

that is the fertilization of plants and some invertebrate animals by their own pollen or sperm rather than
that of another individual, but could also be cross fertilized (cross-pollinated) that is the transfer of pollen
grains from an anther of a flower of one plant to a stigma of a flower of another plant of the same

Short Generation Time: As the time gap between generations was short, Mendel could raise many
generations of pea within a short time. This is one of the main reason for choosing Pea plant (Pisum

Many Distinct Traits: Pea had many sharply distinct. its each trait had two clear cut alternative forms or
varieties: e.g. seed shape had a round or wrinkled phenotype, plant height was either tall or short, seed
color could be yellow or green etc. Mendel called them pair of contrasting traits. He focused on seven
such contrasting pair of traits.

10. How do the events of meiosis explain Mendel’s law of independent assortment?

The physical basis of Mendel’s law of segregation is the first division of meiosis in which the homologous
chromosomes with their different versions of each gene are segregated into daughter nuclei. The
behavior of homologous chromosomes during meiosis can account for the segregation of the alleles at
each genetic locus to different gametes. As chromosomes separate into different gametes during meiosis,
the two different alleles for a particular gene also segregate so that each gamete acquires one of the two
alleles. In Mendel’s experiments, the segregation and the independent assortment during meiosis in the
F1 generation give rise to the F2 phenotypic ratios observed by Mendel. The role of the meiotic
segregation of chromosomes in sexual reproduction was not understood by the scientific community
during Mendel’s lifetime.

11. What is the role of meiosis in maintaining a constant number of chromosomes in a species?

At the most basic level, Meiosis doubles the number of chromosomes before dividing it into gametes, so
you get half (n) the number of genes from one parent.

Every cell (in humans) starts with 46 chromosomes (or, as biologists like to use, 2n). Before the first
division, we double them to get 92 (4n) then we undergo a division to get 46 in each of 2 cells (2n)then
both cells undergo a divison WITHOUT replication to get 4 cells with 23 (n), these are the gametes.

Then at fertilization, the two gametes (egg and sperm) combine to create a new cell with 46
chromosomes (or 2n) all over again.

12. In what ways do the chemical structures of DNA and RNA differ?
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. The double-stranded chemical instruction manual for everything a plant or
animal does: grow, divide, even when and how to die. Very stable, has error detection and repair
mechanisms. Stays in the cell nucleus. Can make good copies of itself.

RNA: Ribonucleic acid. Single-stranded where DNA is double-stranded, messenger RNA carries single
pages of instructions out of the nucleus to places they're needed throughout the cell. No error detection
or repair; makes flawed copies of itself. Evolves ten times faster than DNA. Transfer RNA helps translate
the mRNA message into chains of amino acids in the ribosomes. A small difference in nucleotides base
pair is that Thymine is converted to Uracil.

13. Why are sex-linked traits such as a red-green color blindness and hemophilia more commonly found
in males than in females?

Both red-green color blindness and hemophilia are linked to alleles (a variant of a gene) located on the X
chromosome. Females have two copies of the X chromosome and males have only one copy. If a female
inherits a mutant allele coding for either of those diseases, it will be recessive and only expressed if both
of her X chromosomes possess this mutation, which is unlikely. Her normal functioning allele on her other
chromosome can mask the effect of the mutant allele. This isn't true of males however. They have only
one X chromosome and, hence, one copy of the allele that codes for color-vision and normal blood
clotting. If they inherit a mutant/disease-causing allele on their X chromosome, there is no other copy of
the normal allele in the genome to mask its effects. Women can have hemophilia and red-green color
blindness as males do, it's just far less likely; it's less likely for females to have one mutant gene on each X
chromosome than it is for males to have just one (which is all that is need in that case).

14. What would the genotypes of parents have to be for them to have a color blind daughter? Explain.

Color-blindness is X-linked so the daughter has to be X(c)X(c). Therefore, she has to get an X(c) from each
of her parents. So, dad has to be X(c)Y and mom could be either X(C)X(c) and have normal vision or she
could be X(c)X(c) and be color blind.

15. Write an essay about your feelings on genetic engineering. How will genetic engineering improve
people lives? What concerns, if any, do you have about this technology? What are the scientist doing to
lessen societal apprehension about genetic engineering?

I am not against genetic engineering as long it is being regulated and being used for common good, such
as stem cell therapy, and for curing diseases.

I am only against (since I am a catholic) if this technology will be used to clone humans and altering
genetic makeup of humans.