Although exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Although exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of

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Senior Manager
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Although exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2005, 19:04
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Although exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a slow-developing cancer, researchers believe that infection by the SV40 virus is a contributing cause, since in the United States, 60 percent of tissue samples from mesotheliomas, but none from healthy tissue, contain SV40. SV40 is a monkey virus; however, in 1960 some polio vaccine was contaminated with the virus. Researchers hypothesize that this vaccine was the source of the virus found in mesotheliomas decades later.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the researcher's hypothesis?

(A) SV40 is widely used as a research tool in cancer laboratories.

(B) Changes in the technique of manufacturing the vaccine now prevent contamination with SV40.

(C) Recently discovered samples of the vaccine dating from 1960 still show traces of the virus.

(D) In a small percentage of cases of mesothelioma, there is no history of exposure to asbestos.

(E) In Finland, where the polio vaccine was never contaminated, samples do not contain SV40.
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19 Sep 2005, 20:07
P1. Primary cause of mesothelioma = exposure to asbestos
P2. Contributing cause of mesothelioma = infection by SV40 virus
P3. In 1960 some polio vaccine was contaminated with SV40 virus.

Con. The vaccine contaminated in 1960 was the source of the virus found in mesotheliomas decades later.

(C) Recently discovered samples of the vaccine dating from 1960 still show traces of the virus.
>> Yeah, it says, as is said in the article, the vaccine is contaminated by the virus, but so what? The mere fact that the vaccine is contaminated doesn't necessarily mean that the vaccine is THE SOURCE of the virus found in mesotheliomas.

(E) In Finland, where the polio vaccine was never contaminated, samples do not contain SV40.
>> No contaminated vaccine, no SV40 in tissue samples. Good.
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19 Sep 2005, 20:12
E it is!
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Cheers, Rahul.

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19 Sep 2005, 20:18
I find this confusing because the researchers are making two claims:

1) SV40 is a contributing factor in cases of mesothelioma.

2) the contaminated polio vaccine is the source of the SV40 virus found in mesotheliomas in the United States.

The OA is E. But here's what's confusing me. Statemnent E only supports the second claim, while actually weakening the first. Because if mesotheliomas are found in Finland without SV40, then it implies that SV40 is less likely to be a cause of mesothelioma, doesn't it?

The question never specifies which hypothesis we're supposed to strengthen. I guess that's what's throwing me. Can anyone shed any light?
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20 Sep 2005, 16:28
I choose E.

CLF,
The way that I think ( hindsight ) is that the samples that option E talks about are polio vaccine samples and not meso samples. Subtle !

coffeeloverfreak wrote:
I find this confusing because the researchers are making two claims:

1) SV40 is a contributing factor in cases of mesothelioma.

2) the contaminated polio vaccine is the source of the SV40 virus found in mesotheliomas in the United States.

The OA is E. But here's what's confusing me. Statemnent E only supports the second claim, while actually weakening the first. Because if mesotheliomas are found in Finland without SV40, then it implies that SV40 is less likely to be a cause of mesothelioma, doesn't it?

The question never specifies which hypothesis we're supposed to strengthen. I guess that's what's throwing me. Can anyone shed any light?
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20 Sep 2005, 20:22
lhotseface wrote:
I choose E.

CLF,
The way that I think ( hindsight ) is that the samples that option E talks about are polio vaccine samples and not meso samples. Subtle !

coffeeloverfreak wrote:
I find this confusing because the researchers are making two claims:

1) SV40 is a contributing factor in cases of mesothelioma.

2) the contaminated polio vaccine is the source of the SV40 virus found in mesotheliomas in the United States.

The OA is E. But here's what's confusing me. Statemnent E only supports the second claim, while actually weakening the first. Because if mesotheliomas are found in Finland without SV40, then it implies that SV40 is less likely to be a cause of mesothelioma, doesn't it?

The question never specifies which hypothesis we're supposed to strengthen. I guess that's what's throwing me. Can anyone shed any light?

good hindsight, lhotseface, but that still doesn't answer CLF's question or does it?
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20 Sep 2005, 20:28
But if E is talking about polio vaccines, then I still don't get how it strengthens the hypothesis.

In fact, this makes it worse, because not only does it not strengthen the first hypothesis (that mesotheliomas are caused partially by SV40 virus) but it also doesn't strengthen the second hypothesis (that contaminated polio vaccine is the source of SV40 virus in mesotheliomas).

Help???
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21 Sep 2005, 00:39
it was between B and E for me

I go for C
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21 Sep 2005, 02:54
coffeeloverfreak wrote:
Although exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a slow-developing cancer, researchers believe that infection by the SV40 virus is a contributing cause, since in the United States, 60 percent of tissue samples from mesotheliomas, but none from healthy tissue, contain SV40. SV40 is a monkey virus; however, in 1960 some polio vaccine was contaminated with the virus. Researchers hypothesize that this vaccine was the source of the virus found in mesotheliomas decades later.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the researcher's hypothesis?

(A) SV40 is widely used as a research tool in cancer laboratories.

(B) Changes in the technique of manufacturing the vaccine now prevent contamination with SV40.

(C) Recently discovered samples of the vaccine dating from 1960 still show traces of the virus.

(D) In a small percentage of cases of mesothelioma, there is no history of exposure to asbestos.

(E) In Finland, where the polio vaccine was never contaminated, samples do not contain SV40.

The assumption is no contamination of vaccine, no SV40 and hence will not become source of virus SV40.

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21 Sep 2005, 04:57
C for me.
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21 Sep 2005, 08:29
IMO E
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21 Sep 2005, 10:01
my pick was C too.....
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hey ya......

21 Sep 2005, 10:01
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