An experiment conducted aboard Space Lab in 1983 was the first attempt to grow protein crystals in the low-gravity environment of space. That experiment is still cited as evidence that growing crystals in microgravity can increase crystal size: the authors reported that they grew lysozyme protein crystals 1,000 times larger than crystals grown in the same device on Earth. Unfortunately, the authors did not point out that their crystals were no larger than the average crystal grown using other, more standard techniques in an Earth laboratory.
No research has yet produced results that could justify the enormous costs of producing crystals on a large scale in space. To get an unbiased view of the usefulness of microgravity crystal growth, crystals grown in space must be compared with the best crystals that have been grown with standard techniques on Earth. Given the great expense of conducting such experiments with proper controls, and the limited promise of experiments performed thus far, it is questionable whether further experiments in this area should even be conducted.
1. According to the passage, which of the following is true about the Space Lab experiment conducted in 1983?
(A) It was the first experiment to take place in the microgravity environment of space.
(B) It was the first experiment in which researchers in space were able to grow lysozyme protein crystals greater in size than those grown on Earth.
(C) Its results have been superseded by subsequent research in the field of microgravity protein crystal growth.
(D) Its results are still considered by some to be evidence for the advantages of microgravity protein crystal growth.
(E) Its results are considered by many to be invalid because nonstandard techniques were employed.
2. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would find the Space Lab experiment more impressive if which of the following were true?
(A) The results of the Space Lab experiment could be replicated in producing other kinds of crystals in addition to lysozyme protein.
(B) The device used in the experiment produced larger crystals on Earth than it did in space.
(C) The size of the crystals produced in the experiment exceeded the size of crystals grown in Earth laboratories using standard techniques.
(D) The cost of producing the crystals in space exceeded that of producing them using standard laboratory techniques.
(E) The standard techniques used in Earth laboratories were modified in the Space Lab experiment due to the effects of microgravity.
3. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the device used to grow crystals in the Space Lab experiment?
(A) The device is more expensive to manufacture than are the devices used in standard techniques in an Earth laboratory.
(B) The device has not been used to grow crystals in space since the Space Lab experiment of 1983.
(C) Crystals grown in the device on Earth tend to be much smaller than crystals grown in it in space.
(D) Crystals grown in the device in space have been exceeded in size by crystals grown in subsequent experiments in space using other devices.
(E) The experiments in which the device was used were conducted with proper controls.
4. The passage suggests that the author would most probably agree with which of the following assessments of the results of the Space Lab experiment?
(A) Although the results of the experiment are impressive, the experiment was too limited in scope to allow for definitive conclusions.
(B) The results of the experiment are impressive on the surface but the report is misleading.
(C) The results of the experiment convincingly confirm what researchers have long suspected.
(D) Because of design flaws, the experiment did not yield any results relevant to the issue under investigation.
(E) The results of the experiment are too contradictory to allow for easy interpretation.